Inner Connectedness…

 

Yesterday I heard an interview on NPR with the founder of Smith Magazine about a new anthology he’s edited/released: a collection of stories inspired by the prompt: A Life Changing Moment. I was fascinated and as the editor noted, “there’s no other question to ask than: so what’s your life changing moment?”

I didn’t have to think very long for a story to jump up to be counted. I’ve told the story briefly before but it wasn’t until prompted that I really began to see it for what it was: a life changing moment…

When I was about 5 years old, the coffeehouse my parents helped start, Charlotte’s Web, was 3. One night, my sister, Jenny and I were there with Grandma Laraby to listen to Bryan Bowers. The stage was still downstairs; the seats were cut telephone poles with a board nailed in place to act as a back and a 2 inch thick cushion stapled on the seat for comfort, (comfortable for a 5 year old bottom), and I don’t think there was a liquor license yet. New American Theater was still calling upstairs their home.

It was a wonderful concert, I am sure, but the life changing moment for me came when Bryan invited the packed house to join hands and sing with him. The song he was singing was “May The Circle Be Unbroken” and our linked hands wove around and between and behind and everyone was holding someone’s hand. Our voices were one; our hearts were one; we were one. It was overwhelming. I felt as though my feet were no longer touching the ground: I was soaring, not just me: we were one and we were soaring.

The feeling was incredible: like how people describe the feeling of seeing god. Well, that night when I was 5, I felt god in the music. It was only the first of countless times since. Bryan Bowers has continued to be a regularly featured artist on the Web stage for about 4 decades. His stories and his songs have always had the power to remind me of the inner connectedness of the universe, which includes me.

It wasn’t until much later that I realized that this was just one facet of the power of music. Live music has the power to unite and, if only for that moment, the power to expose the inner connectedness, the webs that connect us all to each other and to our environment and even the cosmos. We are all one. Peace through music.

"When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace." -  Jimi Hendrix

 

 

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Bill Miller Folsom Prison Blues at Charlotte's Web