Today was one of those days I didn't avoid the paper or at least parts of it. Two stories, one of cats and one of dogs, caught my eye.
"Cats" now in its 27th year and the first Broadway play I saw in Nashville has returned. This weekend more than thirty high school students from a rural West TN town will get an opportunity to see "Cats" thanks to a grant from TPAC's education component and their teacher who twenty-three years ago had an opportunity to see "Cats" on Broadway, the real Broadway, thanks to a gift of money and encouragement. This teacher, Dewayne Ervin was encouraged, supported and inspired. His life was changed by theater and now he's instigating life changing opportunities for his students.
The story related to dogs is more painful on the surface but just as inspiring, so bear with me. The morning paper also reported 122 dogs were rescued from a puppy mill in rural Tennessee this week by the Animal Rescue Corp. I read the story, sent out a prayer to the people involved in the rescue as well as to the animals and felt a mix of sorrow, wonder and love...which brings me to tonight.
I was out past my curfew having been to hear Spectrum with the symphony. Spectrum was new to me, but not their music. Having grown up in a small town outside Nashville, WLS radio in Chicago and "Soul Train" Saturday mornings on tv were my lifeline. Spectrum covered the songs of Motown and Philadelphia, backed by Nashville's Grammy-winning symphony. I sat listening in a nearly packed performance hall reminded of how music heals hearts, bridges divides and inspires.
Afterward as we entered a local restaurant I noticed a group of men and women nearby with jackets on reading "Animal Rescue Corps." I may be from the South where folks are friendly but I didn't immediately speak to the group. I waited. I sat at my table determining what to order as my tension built. I had to find out who these people were. Were they the ones from the news story?
I walked over and encountered beautiful souls from California, Canada and yes, Nashville, all who give of their time to go to rescue sites especially in rural areas with economic need. Tears rolling down my cheeks, I thanked and thanked these people for their work then got invited to volunteer tomorrow which I suspect I will do.
So what's the point of my story? I could not come home and go directly to bed. I needed to come on-line and tell someone as well as have a written record myself of the beautiful interactions between people - teachers and students and people and animals regardless of legislative budget cuts and bills. I needed in my friend Merle's words 'to testify' to Love, to the beauty of the human heart, to the joy of music, theater and loving "Cats" and dogs!
So for tonight I 'send' this with a cat curled in my lap, a cat left on the doorstep of a shelter, a cat that now provides my heart shelter. Tonight I 'send' this for I've heard soul music, I read of and witnessed soul music and the Soul of the World is blessed.