I was looking around YouTube today for a song I was remembering and instead came across a different song that caught my attention. It’s a version of Bobby McFerrin doing “Somewhere over the Rainbow.” Here’s the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U35MBCjzmlw&feature=share.
I really hope you’ll watch this brief video. It’s actually part of a larger piece in which Bobby does the entire Wizard of Oz in about seven minutes. What captured me first about this video was what a tremendous musician Bobby McFerrin is, but then I was captivate by what he does with the audience listening to him. He begins by singing the opening phrase of “Somewhere over the Rainbow” without words, simply on the syllable “do.” Then having established the song, he invites the audience to join him. They do so willingly and Bobby begins to accompany them adding what sounds something like pizzicato (plucked) notes from a string quartet. Only he’s doing the whole accompaniment with his voice and playing the imaginary instruments with his left hand. When the song shifts, he give the audience just enough guidance to direct them into the bridge and goes backs to his accompanying strings and then finishes the coda ending together with the audience which has now broken out into beautiful harmonies. Amazing! The camera meanwhile flits between bobby and the audience which is clearly mezmorized and moved by the experience. Watching this video I was amazed first that everyone in the audience knew the song so well and secondly at Bobby’s ability to pull everyone together to make such beautiful music on the spot with no rehearsal!
There is something extraordinary when we come together and create something beautiful. It feel more rare to me these days. We have been lulled into believing that dividing up, choose sides or tribes in which to belong is somehow normal. We have put a great focus on the value of the individual to think what we want to think, say what we want to say and do what we want to do. And yet, when given the chance to be part of something bigger than ourselves, to join together in community to create something beautiful, we almost always find our spirits are lifted… sometimes into something that feels like heaven.
I think there is something in us that longs to be part of something bigger than just ourselves and longs to create beauty out of chaos. I think this is the Spirit of God in us. Whenever I read the creation story in Genesis I find myself wondering why God created the humans in God’s image. The only answer I can come up with is that God wanted company and someone to care for. And notice, in the second creation story in chapter, God says it’s not good for the man to be alone and so creates the woman and brings her to him. God seems to value family and community. This need for us to be with others and to create things that are good and beautiful is written into our DNA.
In this new year, I hope you will look for ways to express the Spirit of God within you. Look for ways to build up love in our family, between your friends and within the circles in which you travel. Look for ways to come together and create things that are beautiful and good.
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