IV - Passion Fulfilled

emmylouharris lucindawilliams passionfulfilled soultosoulcounselling Nov 01, 2022

The Dream Deferred
What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore—
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over—
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?

Langston Hughes, “Harlem” from Collected Poems

I’d like to conclude this series on the passion filled life by sharing the inspiration I received this past June at the Ottawa Jazz Festival thanks to three women and the passion that they shared with their packed audiences. Two of the women who headlined together back to back, Lucinda Williams and Emmylou Harris are legends in the music industry with a career which began in the 70s and spans five decades. Their music and lyrics still bring in loyal fans to hear them today. Corinne Bailey Rae is well on her way to legend status and spread the love and light to her audience at her concert.

“It's all come full circle," says Lucinda Williams about her powerful new album, Good Souls, Better Angels. After more than forty years of music making, the pioneering, Louisiana-born artist has returned to the gritty blues foundation that first inspired her as a young singer-songwriter in the late 1970s Giving voice to all her experience, Williams ends Good Souls, Better Angels with the luminous "Good Souls," one of the last songs written for the album. It is a deeply moving invocation: "Keep me with all of those/who help me find strength/when I'm feeling hopeless/who guide me along/And help me stay strong and fearless.

Lucinda Williams was back on tour after just two years recovering from a debilitating stroke which has left its physical effects on her mobility and health. Yet, even such major life challenge couldn’t keep the 68 year old Lucinda from expressing her thoughts, feelings and message through the music she was clearly made to make. Her deep concern for the heartbreaking experiences individuals endure in life is expressed in the intensity of the lyrics which tell these stories and compel us to pay deep attention too. Her music urges us as a society to consider tough issues regarding our own humanity beyond morality, ethics and political correctness. Lucinda Williams powerful passion brings us face to face with our own heart and soul.

Her concluding cover of Neil Young’s” Rockin’ in the Free World” had the audience up and singing with wistful nostalgia and a sense of hope for our human future despite the terrible struggles so many are experiencing. Honouring the struggles of so many people around the globe allows us to be even more grateful for our blessings and opportunities.The body may take the brunt of our pain and problems at times but when the heart is awakened in passionate remembrance of universal truths, the soul sings out its mission and we are revived. Thank you Lucinda Williams for your courageous example.

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