The people gathered were settled, while she sang with a rich and booming voice she spoke in soft, melodic tones. She quietly repeated into the microphone, "The most powerful voice is always the authentic voice."
Three months ago Sr. Mary Craig and I discovered that we shared a common love for the music of Carrie Newcomer. Sometimes I listen to her music and I am left in awe as to how someone could think up such deep and meaningful metaphors, and then to go the step further and put it to music. At the time, Mary shared with me that Carrie was going to be in the Swarthmore area giving a workshop on "Writing Mindfully"and invited me to go with her. The workshop was tonight, and tonight has truly been a pretty amazing one!
Carrie spoke of writing the song of today and the meaningfulness that comes from being present. She said, "choosing to be present will change you." She spoke of openness, honesty, love, and desires. As she spoke of "risk" I thought of Mother Bachmann's words, "no risk, no gain." Carrie says, "we don't want to risk the thing we want most because if we don't get it, it would mean something." As I sat and listened to these words I thought of my own writing and my own music (which I often keep hidden away under my own hand-fashioned bushel basket.) Why do I not share more? What is my fear? What would happen if I were to let go of that which holds me back?--Questions I don't yet have answers for, but I assure you I'm trying!
Another running theme of Carrie's music is finding the Holy in the ordinary, sharing that sacred moments come and go and we appreciate them while we have them but we have to let go because "sacred is not a tame thing." There is so much truth packed into that sentence!
As Mary dropped me off at my car we shared our enthusiasm over the night, I shared I wanted to blog but realized it would be quite late by the time I was home. Mary suggested writing some thoughts down on paper and to write more fully tomorrow--Which was all well and good until I got home and had so many thoughts rumbling around in my head that I couldn't sleep without releasing them! And so I share . . .
While her story sharing and music were phenomenal I must say the most memorable moment of the night for me was sitting with Carrie afterwards, just the three of us, as she taught us how to play a guitar using her sawed off capos. Talk about holy in the ordinary! That she would take the time to answer and be excited about Mary's simple question, "can I ask you about your capos?" That was truly a holy moment.
Carried shared that "the closer we get to what we love the more potent our work becomes." Since my entering community last September I have expressed more through the written word, both here and in my music, than I have in my entire life. This to me speaks to the true desire of my heart and the reality of God's presence in my life. I believe my "authentic voice" has been found, not in any of the childhood dreams I had, but in the place I find myself this night, in the present moment and the present path on which I find myself.
So today, tonight, whatever applies to you--let your authentic voice be heard!