This week, the two songs that accompany the story Geraldine, are by Barbara McAfee. Barbara is an amazing person who I met briefly several years ago and then spent much more time with recently. In the intervening years, it seemed like we were two sumo wrestlers circling around the ring, not engaging but preparing. Sizing each other up. Stomping here, crouching there. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. And then BLAM! - we talked alot.
Barbara is a singer, musician, inspirational speaker, organizational consultant and voice coach. She recently published a book titled Full Voice: the art and practice of vocal presence. She has also recorded 5 cd's of her own. Two songs off of Barbara's most recent cd, Yes!, appear here at The Book of Bartholomew.
Barbara has a great ability to see value in people. We went for a walk along the Mississippi River the other day. It was a beautiful evening. The sun was setting and as we walked she shared stories about all these crazy-amazing people in her life; people she had worked with, played with, coached, and lived with. If she had a negative thought or concern about any of these people, it wasn't expressed. All I heard was admiration and fascinating descriptions of people who were considered valuable and loved. That is what I also admire about Barbara's music and the songs that I chose for this story.
Geraldine is not a lovely person. But Bartholomew sees value in her. I think Barbara would see value in Geraldine, too, if she wasn't fictional. Geraldine that is. Barbara is non-fictional. I think of Barbara's song Such as These, when I think of Geraldine in these early stories. Your average person really is doing the best they can just to live. Sometimes we all need encouragement to remember how good we are in the midst of this crazy life.
One of my favorite quotes from Barbara's book, Full Voice, is:
"When did we start to believe that becoming less of ourselves would keep us safe?"
That is a powerful line in which I am still immersed. I might be there for quite sometime before being able to get some distance and "know" it. Geraldine doesn't understand the concept of safety. She is fierce in presenting herself to others. Some might say she is unaware. But that is two sides of the same coin. I think Bartholomew likes Geraldine's lack of concern for safety. He has been protecting himself for so long that Geraldine is a breath of fresh air, a different perspective, a different model of being. He knows he needs to change in order to have the life he wants, and Geraldine just might be his catalyst. Although no one else will see her as valuable and worthy of their attention, affection, and time, by the end of this story Bartholomew is taken - hook, line and sinker.
Thank you Barbara for such wonderful heart-felt songs.