Okay, so I admit to being technically challenged! I haven't been able to upload a new video that I'd like to share with everyone--a Tribute Concert for Pete Seeger that I did with the fantastic Spook Handy and Geoffrey Kaufman. I'll solve this little puzzle eventually, but for now you can find video of the show at this link: http://www.northjerseypublicpolicy.org/2015_videos
The line above is from Philip Levine's poem "You Can Have It." The first time I read that poem, it stopped me in my tracks. I was twenty, or thereabouts, and I definitely felt I was wearing the wrong clothes. To write like that, I don't know--it seemed impossible. It seemed like genius. Emily Dickinson said that a good poem made her feel as if the top of her head were taken off. Sounds so odd, but I know exactly what she meant. Levine died on Valentine's Day. He wrote so many poems that took the top of my head off. I wish I could thank him.
Video of my set from the 2014 NJPPN Tribute Concert for Pete Seeger appears below.
Pete Seeger gave music, hope, and joy to so many, and those sorts of gifts endure. Watching videos of his performances, singing his songs, performing in concerts in his honor, I've been amazed by the depth of his gifts as both musician and human being. He could turn a crowd into a choir. He never abandoned his values and they were all the best ones. He believed that we could be better (less violent, more open, less angry, less foolish) as individuals, a nation, a species, and that belief made us better. In Emily Dickinson's words, "We never know how high we are / Till we are asked to rise." Pete not only asked us to rise, he showed us how to do it.