When I was writing THE RIVER WITCH, I came across this wonderful video that confirmed all the things I know (and suspect) to be true about the power of music in our lives. A friend reminded me of this particular piece today and I thought it was worth sharing. The character of Otis Green came to me as a whole person and later, when I was doing some research I saw this piece of film and felt I’d maybe met him in the flesh. For so many people who are living out their last years in nursing homes it can be a lonely and isolating time. This film gives such a sense of hope and it inspired me. I hope it will inspire you to find creative ways to reach out to those in our communities who seem lost or isolated beyond our understanding. When I watch it, I see what I’ve always believed – music is the language of the soul. I hope to always speak it.
The celebrated north Georgia poet Byron Herbert Reece may have put it best.
“From chips and shards in idle times,
I made these stories, shaped these rhymes;
May they engage some friendly tongue
When I am past the reach of song.”
(Reece, Epigaph for Bow Down in Jericho [Dutton, 1950])