Sometimes with and sometimes without occasion / I write what's uppermost, without delay ... (Lord Byron)
Friday, April 17, 2009
Dear Susan Boyle,
You little imp! You've turned an assumption on its head, and we all know that "assume" means I've made an ass of u and of me, don't we?
It's all about appearances and assumptions in our culture, isn't it? One of our obvious assumptions is that only gorgeous people get to skip down the gold-bar road to the end of the idol rainbow and all its bling.
Along comes you: a feisty, daffy, tittering dynamo who is about to realize a dream. Your very modest dream is to sing, once in your life, on a particular stage.
And you sing of a universal theme, one we all can relate to: a dream born and granted, then betrayed and debased.
You've been there, haven't you? You've been heckled and bullied; you've probably had every epithet in His Majesty's tongue hurled at your winsome, garden-gnomelike visage. Someone in your Britain's Got Talent audience slew a wolf whistle at you when you first took the stage ...
You've been savaged with such wit ... and you fired it all back, transformed through a song that you offered from a heart broken open beyond any more breaking.
If I had a more religious bent, I'd be gushing of your gift, "Jesus lives in you, child!" As it stands, I've no idea if Jesus actually existed, but it no longer matters to me. The example of Jesus the person, and the choices he made in relation with other beings, tell me all I need to know. I'm reminded of that generosity and benevolence of spirit when I watch you hit the stage ... and when you begin to sing, Spring takes hold of the world.
You know in all innocence that you have a gift ... and you knew what you were about to give to the world through that song. You turned abasement on its head, you cheeky monkey! (Now, before anyone harps at me about calling Susan a "cheeky monkey", let it be known that my very most, ever-best friend in the world, a Brit to the core and a sweet English rose, called me "cheeky monkey" all the time. It has nothing to do with equating humans to apes in a derogatory manner, calling somebody "ugly", or making a racist slur. It's an endearment,for heaven's sake.)
With the audacity of action overcoming despair (I'm sure you have felt it) and the courage -- French for "great heart" -- of knowing your own goodness no matter what others sling at you, you chose your audition song: "I Dreamed a Dream," from Les Misérables. You had all the glee of an innocent at her first recital as you made a beeline for the center of the stage, bantered with the incredulous judges, who may have been thinking, "This has got to be a joke," and proceeded to blow the minds of everyone watching before you'd finished singing the first line of the song. All it took was, I dreamed a dream ...
Susan, faces that snickered at you fell slack, and the ovation arose before you were through the second line of the first verse. The judges were gob-smacked -- and chastened. Even Simon -- after a sheepish attempt to claim foreknowledge of your gift -- babbled incredulous praise, then held up his face as if to keep his jaw from plonking to the floor. Susan, you silenced Simon! He's ever been defrocked as a cynic!
You've done it, Susan. Last I heard, there were something like 18.7 million hits on YouTube for your song.
Evolved souls are everywhere; every once in a while, one will become a zeitgeist for a cultural moment ... and leave a reminder of what humanity is capable of.
Thank you, Susan Boyle. You prove the nay-sayers wrong. Sing on, angel!
Take a boo at the blog; you'll find me there, in one of three guises: Pushing Fifty Gently... is where I sass, opine, and worship my cats. The Quoteable I Ching is here to honour a wisdom tradition that I follow and revere ... and A Post-Cynical Seer chronicles one soul's deeper currents and journeys. Otherwise, I'm likely to be upending my home in search of my glasses, tripping over cats as I go, and spilling my tea. I'm no longer pushing fifty ... Fifty's pushing me!