As I am every year, I am overwhelmed and drained this morning. As people familiar with my work already know, there are times when, as hesitant as I am to pretend that my beliefs are identical with those of my audience, religious language seems to me to be the most accurate and in fact the only appropriate language to describe my experience. This week has been full of undeserved grace. In the midst of one of the most stressful periods of my life, I have been showered with love in a tangible way available, I imagine, to few people in this life. Or maybe it's available to many of us, and the grace comes in being opened to it.
I am reminded of what my friend, the multi-talented Martin Grosswendt (brilliant last night, as usual) said at the end of Summer Acoustic Music Week last summer. It went something like this: this place is where I am who I'm supposed to be, doing what I'm supposed to be doing, and recognized and valued for it.
That's how I felt last night. It's the Promised Land, the Commonwealth of Heaven. We are allowed glimpses of this country so seldom in this world. But I saw it last night. I know it exists. And I hope that every human being can catch enough glimpses of it that someday we can all dwell there, each developed to their full potential, and each valued and beloved.
Having become a full-time singer-songwriter, I've actually risked a lot in my life. Here's a hint: when I'm not a full-time singer-songwriter, I'm unemployed without benefits. The world today is a far cry from the world I hoped for when I started doing this, or even from the hopeful, battered postwar world in which I was raised. But once again this year, three entire communities (St. Bart's, St. Andrew's, and my beloved musical colleagues) came together and laid themselves (and in some cases, their money) on the line so that I could be where I'm supposed to be, doing what I'm supposed to be doing, at my full potential, valued and beloved. In the midst of a fair amount of anxiety and even despair, I was given a home in the Promised Land, and have been reminded that the risks have been worth taking.