Wasn’t sure a Gospel song would fit in with Highly Sensitive Persons (HSPs) at a music appreciation meet last week.
Still can’t understand why I chose Bobby Darin, the “Splish Splash” originator, to represent my musical taste. We were encouraged by the hosts, a young couple, to bring music that meant a lot to us, perhaps meditative offerings and/or those pieces that represented a special time in our lives.
Bach started off the night, and I immediately felt out of my league. I closed my eyes and meditated, agreeing Johann Sebastian is the premier composer of classical music. Of all time.
The next songs were offerings by two women for men in their lives who passed away. One was a beautiful song by Boyz To Men provided by a “fellow” meditator for her father, and the other a folks song for the woman’s husband, with lyrics like this:
In the stillness lie the answers To the questions on my mind
It’s important that I listen, And make the answers mine
In the stillness, solutions Are available to me
For all of my life’s questions, And listening is the key
Once I’ve heard the answers, Then I must follow through
And believe what it tells me And to do what I must do.
We listened to the Indigo Girls, the Moody Blues and a musical rendition of Dylan Thomas’ poem to his father. (” … do not go gentle …”.)
Tom Waits spoke of a “Hooker in Minneapolis,” and my favorite was by Rickie Lee Jones, whose Jazz interpretation of “Bye Bye Blackbird” created a vision of a solitary girl on the sidewalk singing out to me — and only me — despite the 15 of us sitting in the couple’s Lansdale, PA, condo, mostly members of the Philadelphia area HSP group of the Resiliency Center of Ambler.
Bob Dylan made an appearance through a “basement” version of “Like a Rolling Stone,” and brought memories to the few of us surviving the ’60s. There were other offerings just as good, if not better, but memory fails me.
Oh yeah. Almost forgot Bobby Darin.
I felt my choice was way off base compared to what we had listened to. We were expected to give a short intro to the song and what it meant to us. I said nothing, hoping to get it over and done with.
“Play it, Eric,” I told the co-host, and closed my eyes. The song felt way too slow. I’d forgotten it took time to warm up, and by then, I figured most would be out of their chairs seeking either the bathroom or snacks from a nearby table. To hell with my feelings, I thought. I’m going to enjoy this even if no one else does.
I started to move. Shoulders kept time with the tapping of my feet. Head moved in a swaying motion with the shoulders. I couldn’t help it when Darin suggested to his audience — it was recorded live — to “hear the hands-a-clapping,” and I involuntarily joined in. To my surprise, others followed suit. The song got faster, heard more soul than I remembered ever hearing before, and by the time it finished, I opened my eyes and saw smiles on nearly everyone’s face.
They liked it, they really liked it!
So did a young woman I saw as the “Green Tara,” a Tibetan Buddhist deity whose always seeking to provide love and compassion. She arose, spoke of her work with the elderly in assistant living homes — many African-American –and played on the piana what Eric called an “impromptu” Gospel tune she learned on the job. Several joined her, singing the praises of the Almighty.
She told me she was inspired by my song.
And my heart sang with joy for her guileless act of kindness.