I was so excited! Look where I got to sing “Because of One” for Leymah Gbowee (2011 Nobel Peace Prize recipient) and Abigail Disney (producer of “Pray the Devil Back to Hell” the documentary chronicling Gbowee’s successful fight for peace in Liberia). TriBeCa 360—the location of the Interfaith of New York’s Award Ceremony for bestowal of the James Parks Morton Award. This year it went to both women—to the one for what she did, and the other for telling such a compelling story about it.
And…Wynton Marsalis was there! Couldn’t wait for my chance to wow them all with this song.
Everything was timed beautifully…Opening prayers, first course. Speech by MC, then bestowal of the awards, then main course. What I hadn’t counted on was that by the time dessert came, people were tired of paying attention, and they just wanted to frickin’ eat their dessert and chat in peace.
I’ve never failed to silence a room when I start singing. Except tonight. Tonight, all the way through to the end of this song, lots of dessert plates clattering, people talking talking talking. I had brought my iPhone to record this historic event, and all you can really hear is the plates and the talking.
Curiously, this doesn’t kill me like it would have years ago. I don’t make a big story about it in my head—like “You see? the world doesn’t want to hear what I have to say,” or “You see? I’m too old for this,” or “You see? I’ve lost it and now I’m washed up, finished, kaput.” Instead, I just sort of felt the sadness of how much I wish they’d heard the song, and then I let it go and went home. I am not the center of their world. It’s always helpful to remember that. Even the people I sat with and had good conversation with—they have their own lives, and concerns, and I don’t show up anywhere on their radar.
It’s good practice to get out of the way, especially to get out of our own way. We are just little bags of energy trying to express ourselves, and we do it all day long. Most times we feel heard. Sometimes we don’t. But none of it really means anything, we’re still just little bags of energy trying to express ourselves. So. I was expressing myself while a bunch of other people were also expressing themselves. End of story.
But what a sweet, sweet feeling to know, in the car, that I was heading home to a woman and a dog who do listen, who listen to my deepest heart. May everyone whose egos were dinked today have such a rich and comforting blessing to come home to.