We Shall Overcome

I can't believe it.  I'm in Germany.  The land of pretzels and lederhosen and accordion music.  It's beautiful here.  I never thought I'd get to play music in Europe.  What a dream come true.  

But in all honesty, I'm having a hard time thinking about music today.  I'm in Berlin tonight.  This is the view from my hotel window...


This is the Brandenburg Gate.  If you would have looked at it 27 years ago, you would not see the sun setting in the distance; the Berlin wall ran through the center of it, blocking the view.  Tonight, it's teeming with activity. There's live music in the street.  People are drinking beer at biergartens.  College students are reading books on the park benches.

And it's also the 15th anniversary of 9/11.  I can't help but remember and reflect all the sadness this planet has known.

Truly, I've been trying hard to live in the present lately.  It does me very little good to try to focus on things I cannot change, particularly the past.  But to not acknowledge the difficult times that brought us to where we are today is to deny too much.  I've got to hand it to Berlin; they've done a lot to pay tribute to the terrible wrongs that were done here, and also to honor the tremendous good that was done to make things right.  I think it's important to recall both; it deepens both the sadness and the happiness.  Needless to say, my feelings are very intense here.

As I sit here typing, gearing up for my first show, I think about how much has taken place in this world.  And though I can't remember it all from personal experience, I tip my hat to it all.  We live in a horrible and beautiful world.  Let's keep on remembering that wrongs can be righted. That broken things can be mended.  And that there is a future joy beyond present pain. I truly believe we can get through anything.  In the great words of Charles Albert Tindley, "we shall overcome." Keep believing it, Reader.  From small fights at home to World Wars, there is something beyond it all.  I'll see you next Sunday. -Em

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