So, yesterday I was watching YouTube music videos and catching up on my email. It took me a minute to realize I was also crying.
You know, like Frederick Buechner says that the sudden flash of tears we get is the surest sign of truth we have.
Now, I’ve loved Piano Man for ages. And, yes, I know all the words. But this was different. I’d never seen or heard this version before. It was from the Gershwin Awards in 2014. Billy Joel won for Piano Man.
And so I watched. Really watched the video:
First of all, did you catch Tony Bennett in the gang on stage? I was raised on Tony Bennett and very glad he was there, older than I remembered, but still smiling. (And did you know he’s a painter, too???)
I listened on. And watched. And cried.
The second time through, I figured out why. It was the crowd. Both on-stage and in the audience. Different ages and colors and backgrounds. All singing a song that ties many, many of us together in our memories and, perhaps, our dreams.
At the risk of overstating the obvious, I think most of us are dreaming of a day when it would be safe for ourselves and for others to be in a room like that, singing and waving our arms and being a live part of such an event. I know I am.
I’m also dreaming of a time when we could be together in all of our vast and miraculous diversity; one song, many voices.
And then another song from another time. And another song from a different land. And on and on, celebrating both diversity and connection.
I’m not sure which of those dreams seems farther off in this moment.
I am sure of this. Bill and I voted on Friday. Me, by hand-delivered, mail-in ballot. Bill, in person, early.
Nothing major in a newsworthy sense. But very real in the place where we live. It matters who the next county super district commissioner will be. (Yay, Ted!) It matters who the sheriff will be. And the local court judges. And the school board members.
It’s entirely possible that it matters more now than ever. The things that seem little, or hopeless, add up. And maybe, just maybe, they’ll add up to better. Safer. Kinder. Wiser.
I’d add less corrupt to the list but it louses up my parallel structure 😉
Just know this, I’m working on a time when our dreams can come true. Even if there are folks who think that grandparents like me aren’t worth worrying about and would, in fact, improve the economy if we had the good sense to die.
And, with all due respect to Billy, we may have to take a break from forgetting about life for a while, if we’re going to pull this one off!
ps… If the photo at the top had a title it would be The Thinking Goes On. Thanks, Levengers!