In this thing we call life, each of us is meant to create our own version.  What we pull out of it, what we express and put into the world is different because we are different. Inspiration, admiration and motivation can find us just about anywhere. Recently I found it at a local music hall during an open mic night. Over the course of the evening I saw musicians of all ages sit or stand on a small stage. They came to  play and sing their original music or cover others.  In a small room, on a small stage each performer accepted the full responsibility and vulnerability for whatever they produced in the time they were there.

All ages, mostly men, they came to the stage differently and approached their music differently. Some confidently set up and began. Others were more tentative. Some gave their work an introduction and explanation and others spent their time tuning their  instrument. One older gentleman, accompanied by his sister and friend, fairly quivered before beginning. As I watched,  it occurred to me the truth that art mimics life. None of these people were performing because they expected stardom or  discovery. They performed because the music was in them and they needed to express it.

An original song could be covered by ten different artists. I think of Simon & Garfunkel’s “Sounds of Silence”. Fifty plus years later and a a new interpretation by an artist you wouldn’t expect – Disturbed. His version, backed by classical artists and sung with strength and depth resonated with many listeners, some who may never have heard the original version.

Full expression of our whole self

It could, by those with a more narrow frame of mind, be said that his depth of emotion is unexpected from “that kind of artist.” If you check out his You Tube channel, you will see an entirely different looking person than the one who records the Simon & Garfunkel tune. This is a great example of how none of us are just one thing. It is where we fail, ourselves and others. When we believe that only this person or that person can have access to or express life in all its varied forms we stand to lose  richer ways of understanding and creating the lives we want.  We set up self-imposed boundaries, keep our lives and worlds small. Why? Because we don’t believe we are able to move beyond what we think we already know or who we believe ourselves to be.

We, the world, are waiting for you. Waiting for you to step out on the stage and sing and play your version of life. Will you? Please? We need your voice and your interpretation. We need what you have to say, your perspective. None of us know how we touch the lives of others until we set ourselves free. Go ahead, find your stage, your song and play us a tune that helps us understand this world we live in or challenges us to change it. What are you waiting for?  The time is now.

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