Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Joan Baez

Caught Joan Baez in concert in Atlanta this past Sunday evening and have to say it's the best concert I've seen in a very long time. All the elements making for an outstanding concert were in place: undeniable talent and decades of songs and history, a warm house sound, friendly and interesting concert- goers, conscientious and candid criticism against war and violence (what should one expect- it's Joan Baez), and the element of Spirit flowing through music, reaching out and touching each person in attendance. If you’ve ever had the opportunity to join in with Joan and sing “Amazing Grace” you cannot help but feel that ‘Grace’ flowing through you, out into the world… and suddenly it’s not such a bad place after all.

Joan reminds me that sometimes being meek and mild gets us all nowhere. Yes, there are roles we all play and sometime with our grace we can change the world quietly and without much fanfare. More often change comes about slowly by way of our willingness to dare stand with the oppressed and against the oppressor. Change comes about with our vocal and courageous action, by our moving forward to the sound of a different beat that keeps tempo with the masses of the suffering, the over- looked, the underprivileged; our fellow human beings, brothers and sisters.

Yes, I still am and always will be an idealist. Ever since I can remember I’ve though it possible I could change the world for the better. People like Joan Baez remind me that long ago I had the nerve to believe there was something inside of me greater than myself that longed to make a difference. I still believe most of what is mine to do is largely left undone. But, I also remind myself I do make a difference and I have changed the world for the better. Each time I stop and take the time to give to others of what is mine, doing so from the heart- I have changed the world for the better. Each time I offer a smile or a hand to a stranger or acknowledge their presence and offer up a silent blessing for their well being- I have changed the world for the better. Each time I stop whatever I am doing and devote my full attention to my child- I am changing the world for the better. Each moment I fully support those I love by genuinely listening to them and offering love, no matter the circumstance- I am changing the world for the better.

Each of us has an impact upon the world, upon the other that we cannot fully comprehend. When we dare remind ourselves we are far greater than our biggest problem, far superior to our best effort, and vastly endowed with more potential than we can begin to imagine, we open ourselves up to a greater power that inexorably unveils itself, performing the most divine and compassionate of acts through us, as us.

Photo © 2005 Joan C. Baez/Diamonds & Rust Productions.


Blogger Jon said...

I never will forget the first time I visited the Catholic Newman Center at Kent State, which I eventually joined.

One of the songs the congregation sang was "One Tin Soldier," which I think is by Joan. It blew me away that I was in a church that "got" it.

11:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i just wanted to say that you are making a difference w/every word you type on this blog. I look every day at your blog in case you posted something new that I can learn from. You help me be still and think. I appreciate your wisdom so much. Its great to have people like you in the world.

5:29 PM  
Blogger isaiah said...

Dear Anonymous-

If you are 'learning' anything from reading here it is because the words resonate with that which is already present inside of you.

Being still is a matter of willing yourself to be still, it's a choice available to you already, aside from anything you may read or 'learn' here.

I appreciate your kind and thoughtful words. The world revolves with each of us contributing to the other. Thank you again.

Peace& blessings

6:51 PM  
Blogger gratefulbear said...

Thanks for posting about the concert. Variety Playhouse is such a wonderful place for a show! Sorry I wasn't able to join you, but I was still helping my ex, Michael, move his stuff to his new place that Sunday evening; I think we finally got finished around 10 pm. Let me know the next time you come to Atlanta and I'll take you to dinner and a funky little coffeehouse.

12:56 PM  
Blogger Trev Diesel said...

You've certainly "made a difference" in my life, I'll assure you - and for that I'm glad that you've dared to be a man of boldness and grace. Thanks for your example, Tommy.

On a related note, I'm completely out of the loop as far as Joan Baez is concerned. I recognize the name, but know nothing about her. Any tips on where to start?

3:50 PM  
Blogger isaiah said...


Joan marched and was arrested with Dr. Martin Luther King, introduced Bob Dylan to the masses, marched against the Vietnam War, sang at Woodstock, has stood with the oppressed masses in Poland, Argentina, El Salvador, Nicaragua, you name the country and Joan has marched there...welcomed everyone at LiveAid in 84, camped with Cindy Sheehan at camp Casey in Crawford, TX...and she sings like an angel!

4:06 PM  
Blogger saskia said...

isaiah - wonderful comments regarding Joan Baez - thank you so much

6:10 AM  

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