Grace and Peace to you.
Last week, after 38 years of side-splitting music and beautiful, heart-warming satire as the Montana Logging and Ballet Company, we finally lost our brave struggle with optimism, so we sang one final concert and euthanized the group. The cool thing is that we got to sing at our own funeral.
Reflecting on 38 years of performing, we have lots of memories—in fact we remember them more clearly than the lines of our latest songs. We had plenty of adventures, honors, triumphs and worthy accomplishments. We sang some pretty good stuff, and created some pretty funny comedy. But what I’m most grateful for is the connecting we did. The four of us connected in the music, and in our hearts. We’ve stayed best friends. And we connected with the audiences. People laughed and cried and applauded and threw fruit (we ate a lot of fruit in the early years). But the best part is not that they cheered, but what they were cheering for: we connected with something in their hearts. We put to music something that they were already dreaming. They gave us as much loving energy as we gave them. There was some kind of bonding going on. I don’t think we created that connection. We tapped into something that was already there.
It’s always there. You don’t have to perform for thousands to touch it. You can always choose to connect with people’s hearts. Everybody is hungry for love and hope. Whatever you do in your life, you can touch that. You will likely never get a standing ovation. But if you live with love, if you do whatever you do in humble generosity, you connect with the love that binds us all. The people around you may never know it, but their world is better because of you. As Mother Teresa said, what matters is not doing great things, but doing simple things with great love.
Our strange quartet was lucky to receive the love we received, but the best gift was not the applause; it was connecting with people’s hearts, sharing our common longing for love and hope. Go do that, even silently, even in the privacy of your own prayers, and I know that a great auditorium of angels will burst into uproarious and sustained cheering, calling for an encore.
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