"Numbers and photographs
do not a person make.
I'm more than what
a page can say of me.
My identity is not
in my history..."
I was in the middle of writing another post when my friend, Scott - a brilliant musician - shared a new video of Kat Edmundson performing her hauntingly lovely "A Voice,"and from that moment on, it was all I could write about.
Some songs, like Ellis' "Right Time," and Sara Groves' "Less Like Scars," stop me in my tracks and send fissures all along the fragile shell of what I think I know and feel at the moment.
This song was composure-shattering for me. First, it took my breath away -- literally. Once the last note sounded, I felt a shudder of air, and tears, and a tender tightness in my throat and chest. It took me by surprise. A good song will get stuck in your head. A great song will break your heart open so that all the world can fall in - and find hope.
I've been waiting for this moment for months now. I've tiptoed through my days like a once-broke teacup held together with flour paste and baling twine. "Don't bump into anyone who you know might see the cracks. Be the love -- don't let yourself be loved. Too much kindness and the tears might start falling and who knows if you will be able to make them stop."
I knew I was getting close to this moment when I hugged a friend goodbye on Sunday, and the warmth of her hug sent a new series of fine cracks through the veneer of my equanimity. I quickly excused myself, mentally touched up my mask of self-possession and hurried to the car. I knew I was postponing the inevitable, but at least it didn't have to happen with an audience.
Jeff is out of town. I've had wonderful days - and nights - in the office. Caring for others, holds the hounds at bay. But tonight, just when I thought I could take a deeper breath and not have it end in a sob -- Kat's song found me.
It wasn't just the words -- which are so poignantly beautiful. It is the sound of her voice -- the clear, raw honesty, her unflinching willingness to speak to the demon that "names us, and claims us, and shames us all," -- to quote James Taylor. And that demon is relentless. It is the ego. The small "I" that screams we are not enough.
I don't know about any of you, but no matter how many wonderful people I am surrounded by, when that demon starts hissing its self-hate, the only voice that can truly silence its hideous sound, is the voice of The One that speaks from within. The Voice of divine Love. The Voice that speaks out from the fathomless depths of the kingdom of God - within us all.
It is the Voice of the Friend -- of the friendless. And it never fails to reach us when we think we are on our last leg, don't have a breath left to hold, and the rope is fraying at the edge of the abyss. It is the voice that says, "I love you, I've got you, you can do this hard thing..." And we realize -- we can.
In fact, we realize, we are. And we have. And we will.
I am so thankful for all the ways we are pointed to the Truth of this voice within. A song, a story, a hug, a beautiful sunrise -- it all reminds us that there is something within us that hears, listens, sees -- is aware of the presence God. This thanks is the marriage of divinity with humanity.
So. On an ordinary day, when the world might seem cold, unfeeling, dismissive, greedy, and sarcastic -- someone shares a song. And we listen. And we break. And through the cracks, the light shines through. And then we begin to feel the warmth of that light - the light of divine Love seeping into the darkness -- into places that, only moments before, felt cold and fragile. And so, we go a little deeper. And we discover a little more. We let the shell shards go.
We are humans. We sing to find the humanity in one another. And in ourselves. And that thread of humanity leads us to our divinity -- what can't be shaken or taken. The light within.
Thank you Scott.
offered with Love,