Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Music Magic on the Mountaineer

Well, it's a month and a half after my big 70th birthday bash. The party was a smash, and of course, just like life, it didn't go exactly as planned. I had laryngitis and couldn't really sing, but that turned out to be a gift. Because I couldn't sing I wasn't afraid to sing so I had more fun up on stage than ever before. And I got to pretend to be Ginger Rogers and dance with my tap dance teacher, Kevin, who is my Fred Astaire. Plus, my twin grand babies were there and well, you get the idea. The day was very very special.

But the title of this blog post is "Music Magic on the Mountaineer" so I want to tell you what happened on my recent vacation to Canada. When you book a trip on the Rocky Mountaineer, you are assigned seats in a certain car and for the three days you are traveling through the magnificent Canadian Rockies, you keep those same seats in the same car with the same people. If you’re lucky, there are some nice ones you enjoy talking with and no obnoxious, loud ones who make the trip unpleasant. On this recent trip I was luckier than that. A man came onboard with a guitar - someone close to my age who loves to sing as much as I do and who grew up with the same music I did. On day one of our trip, he began playing and I walked back and stood by his seat singing along. In front of us were a couple from Australia, joining their voices with ours. To the right were some folks from England, also singing along. And down about four rows was a family from Shanghai China. Only the father spoke English. One younger Chinese girl, perhaps late teens or twenties, began taking pictures of us singing. But when we started singing an Elvis song, she started singing along with us. She giggled shyly, but just kept taking our picture and singing. 

In that magical moment, I was astounded that people from such diverse countries and cultures would know the same songs and, in the case of the Chinese girl, even sing in a language she doesn’t know. I had no idea that American music was so universally known around the world. And it made me think that music connects us in ways nothing else that I’m aware of does. For those few moments of song, there were no religious or cultural or political differences. We were all simply feeling the joy of music through singing together. It made me wonder why we focus so much on our differences rather than trying to find ways to connect with one another.