Overcome

Imbolc                                                                              Valentine Moon

A question for the Woolly Mammoth meeting of this Monday: “…think back over time – older and newer – was there a piece of music, a song, or a musical video that had an impact on you, or that shaped your thinking, or who you are in some way, at some important juncture in your life, or time in your life.” Scott Simpson

Here’s my reply:

protestI can still hear the others singing, feel the resonance of my voice joining theirs, marching, marching, marching. So many times. The song was the old spiritual, We Shall Overcome. I sang it in protests again Vietnam, in labor solidarity rallies, on the occasional Sunday morning. I sang it alone, in the shower, driving in the car.
Whenever I hit the line, we shall over come someday, and even writing this, I tear up.
This song could be my heart’s theme song. It’s a musical answer to Shakespeare’s famous query, “To be, or not to be: that is the question: Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them.” I’ve always been on the take arms side.
 
Though, parenthetically, I’m also a follower of the Tao which suggests wu wei, or non-doing as an answer. Both seem true to me. In the end I cannot just let things happen to me, or to the people and the society that I love.

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