I have no words. And I have too many words. Thank God for music.
I had the great honor of seeing Shawn Colvin perform last night at the Spire in downtown Plymouth. A brilliant concert, and shockingly, I had not really heard her music before. A songwriter, poet, and musician of the highest order. She had just come off a two-month tour with Steve Earle, another brilliant soul, and was going this one alone. She said she was a bit disoriented, as she began.
Oh, really? I wonder why. Her first song was Paul Simon's American Tune. Sheer power. (Lyrics)
Sang it with a power that broke hearts open with the first strain. Floodgates.
After performing, at the end of the night, she said thank you. She was recentered, she said. The music had helped to heal her. And this is what it is about.
What I've seen from artists in the last few days: A redoubling of purpose. We must continue, with ever more strength, they are saying. It matters now more than ever, they say. We must offer our love. We must stick together. We must overcome.
To return to Karl Paulnack's words in Wednesday's post:
...my friends, someday at 8 P.M. someone is going to walk into your concert hall and bring you a mind that is confused, a heart that is overwhelmed, a soul that is weary. Whether they go out whole again will depend partly on how well you do your craft.
You’re not here to become an entertainer, and you don’t have to sell yourself. The truth is you don’t have anything to sell; being a musician isn’t about dispensing a product, like selling used cars. I’m not an entertainer; I’m a lot closer to a paramedic, a firefighter, a rescue worker. You’re here to become a sort of therapist for the human soul, a spiritual version of a chiropractor, physical therapist, someone who works with our insides to see if they get things to line up, to see if we can come into harmony with ourselves and be healthy and happy and well.
Our work is cut out for us now. Let's keep making. Never was it more important.