Saturday, March 11, 2006
Having a Reasonable Time, Wish You Were Here
Last night, as I mentioned yesterday, I went to a concert. I volunteer for the Live Oak Coffeehouse Concert series. Right now I am one of the ticket-takers and do set up. I met my partner at one of these concerts, so it's special to me! I thought I'd share a photo of last night's featured performer, John Flynn, in action on the stage (thanks to Jon M. for the photo). It was awfully darned nice of him to do the wmen in the audience a favor and take off his jacket so we could see his sleeveless shirt.
It's too bad not many people came, because he had some really moving songs (in a liberal folkie peacenik way), and told some interesting stories about his life and spiritual journey. I really like it when people talk about that kind of thing--how they pray/meditate/interact with their deities and such. He had three huge boulders moved to his house from a meditation space he once frequented, for example. Just interesting to me. On the other hand, Jeff thought he was a bit heavy handed in his social messages and was hitting us over the head telling us to be nice to each other and embrace peace. I guess I don't mind so much when someone is making a strong point I believe in, too!
Speaking of sharing spiritual journeys, before I got back to blogging I enjoyed another one of those. I like to watch late night television (it's about the only TV I watch, while I do my knitting). I love the Daily Show and the Colbert Report, then I head over and watch the end of Letterman and the show with Craig Ferguson. I am very fond of Craig, for a lot of reasons. One is he takes risks with the genre and does some things differently (some work, some don't). And another is that his monologues are not highly scripted--he knows what he's going to talk about, but then just takes off. And finally, he does not erect a huge barrier between himself and the audience like Carson, Letterman, Leno and those folks have mostly done (Letterman occasionally lets something through, like when he had the heart issue, and when his child was born). He is open about his alcohol issues, his marriage issues, his rough childhood, etc.
So, about a month or so ago, Craig Ferguson's father died. The Monday afterward, Craig did his show as scheduled, which surprised me. But he came on, all serious and wearing a tie, and just talked about his dad. Did a wake kind of thing, sharing stories, laughing a bit, crying a bit--just like anyone with a fresh loss would do. Then, as his first guest, he had on an addiction specialist who had been on the show before, and the therapist asked Craig some really interesting questions about his experience. The part I liked the best was when he asked Craig if he had any spiritual beliefs that were helping him along. And Craig pretty much said, "no"! He then talked about his history with religion, what he did and didn't believe, and it was quite genuine and rang true. His next guest was a really lovely woman, John Ritter's widow (ack, can't remember her name). She also talked to him about spirituality, and how it affected her when her husband died--and she also admitted she didn't get much from organized religion. Well, this was so refreshing to hear, and so courageous of both of them to admit, on national television in the USA of today, that they didn't exactly have the belief system of the "moral majority" folks. It was the most uplifting show I saw in ages, even if it was a wake, and Craig was rightfully sad.
I think if more of us agnostics, atheists, seekers and such spoke up about how our nontraditional beliefs comfort us or serve us well, it would be a good thing. OK, I am off my soapbox now. Note, of course, that I firmly believe everyone should choose the belief system that works best for them. If only more others returned that favor!