Monday, June 29, 2009

walk in love.

Somewhere over the rainbow
Skies are blue,
And the dreams that you dare to dream
Really do come true.

I noticed “walk in love.” on a t-shirt this Saturday as I walked through Media, PA after seeing Lisa Mathews in concert. I thought it so adeptly captured what I am trying to do with my upcoming journey. We all have such varied interests. I like walking. Some enjoy cooking (although I'm partial to eating). Others play sports or read or hike or sing or sew. What unites all pursuits is that they can be done in a conscious spirit of love. In doing so, its becomes more than just an action that brings pleasure to the person doing it. It becomes an agent of change for others who come in contact with you - sometimes subtly, sometimes overtly. But it carries a power that is far greater than we often imagine.

I saw a video clip on Washington Post this past week of a short interview with cook Carla Hall which illustrates this point perfectly.

Maybe noticing this t-shirt as I walked back to my car from the concert wasn’t a mere coincidence. Lisa Mathews clearly loves to sing and performs in that spirit. This joy was evident to me in the audience and it put me in a great mood. I know when I’m in a great mood because I am fully Present and filled with a sense of gratitude and awe for life. My favorite songs of the concert were the last two because they were ones I was familiar with. The second to last was the duet "All I Ask of You" from The Phantom of the Opera. The last song, which was an encore, was "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" from The Wizard of Oz. I’ve heard that song countless times, but hearing it live, sung in a spirit of love was just … well, mesmerizing.

It isn’t the first time I’ve been affected this way by Lisa’s voice. I remember her singing Jesu Bambino one Christmas Eve at Phoenixville Church and being absolutely transfixed. During moments like that I often close my eyes and block out everything but the music and let it fill me up. I have experienced other memorable moments when music suddenly became a spiritual experience. One was listening to a baritone sing “Joshua fought the battle of Jericho” at Woodland Presbyterian. Another was listening to the NY Philharmonic perform Dvorák's Symphony for a New World. I have experienced it when song is coupled with movement, once at an Alvin Ailey dance choreographed to Donny Hathaway’s “A Song for You” and another time outdoors in LA where a Hawaiian dance company performed to - coincidentally - “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole. There have been others certainly. But those are what come to mind. They all had the wonderful effect of bringing me fully Present to enjoy the Beauty, Power and Awe of those moments. Wait, I just thought of another one - the first time I heard “On My Own” sung by the character of Eponine in Les Miserables. That was sublimely beautiful.

I hope that if I continue to walk in love, my journey will be an agent of change for more than just me. Love is a mysterious power which works in a myriad of ways I’ll never fully understand. Luckily, I don't need to understand it. I’ll just keep walking and I’ll see where it takes me.


  1. Hey Garth. I heard you were hanging with the sisters in Old Bridge, NJ yesterday. Glad to know things are going well. Keep on walking! Love the pics. VT @ ABS HR

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