Julia and I sang at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival this weekend. It is a three day affair with lots of stages, showcases, and a chance to see fellow musicians, friends and friends who are musicians. On Sunday morning Julia and I were singing in front of the Meier’s hot sauce tent. Julia had caught a bug and a horse which was galloping in her throat. Still, we pulled off a rousing heartening set and the people gathered round were cheered. After we played we could hear Susan Werner and two other acts on the main stage.
For a moment or three, I felt the pang of not being on the main stage but instead playing in front of a hot sauce tent.
My opinion that things should have been different in that moment or wanting them to be different caused me some suffering and doubt. Yet here was Susan Werner, one of the most prolific songwriters and accomplished instrumentalists, equally as talented as any pop star in the world today on the main stage at Falcon Ridge, when she could be at Madison Square Garden or doing a co-bill with Bonnie Raitt. Many of you will not know who she is. Of course, there were many deserving musicians at the festival who would have loved to have been asked to play the hot sauce tent. It’s always all relative (and Meier’s hot sauce is great on eggs.) While I pictured Julia and I up on the main stage again, deciding to be grateful and bring what we bring, we brought lots of folks up at the next showcase. We also spotlighted and praised many musicians as well as hard working musical promoters who often don’t get the recognition they deserve. That’s my opinion.
Last night, I read what Pema Chodron had to say about opinions:
“Opinions are opinions, nothing more or less. All ego is, is our opinions, which we take to be solid, real, and the absolute truth about how things are. …how easy it is to get into a war in which we want our opinions to win and someone else’s to lose. …no matter how well noble our cause is, it won’t be helped by our feeling aggression … Nothing will ever change through aggression.
We have to do our best and at the same time give up all hope of fruition. One piece of advice that Don Juan gave to Carlos Casteneda was to do every as if it were the only thing in the world that mattered, while all the time knowing that it doesn’t matter at all.
There is nobody on the planet, who doesn’t have what it takes to wake up. We all need support and encouragement to be aware of what we think, what we say, and what we do. Notice your opinions. … Cultivating a mind that does not grasp at right and wrong will find a fresh state of being. The ultimate cessation of suffering comes from that. Finally, never give up on yourself. Then you will never give up on others. Wholeheartedly do what it takes to awaken your clear-seeing intelligence, but one day at a time, one moment at a time. If we live that way, we will benefit this earth.”
– Pema Chodron/When Things Fall Apart
So, here is to giving what we have to give, regardless of opinions. May we be motivated by a clarity that allows us to see our circumference and the rippling effect of our efforts.
“May I suggest this is the best time of your life.”- Susan Werner