An Unexpected Gift: Music From The Supposedly Destitute

Last week when I came in to work at the bakery, a colleague handed me a note. “Someone left this for you.”

“This” turned out to be a New York Times article about a group of musicians, all refugees, in a camp called The Jungle in the Parisian outskirts known as Calais. “For Gretchen,” was all the note said–unsigned.

I read the article, titled “Musicians in a Refugee Camp in France Record ‘The Calais Sessions.'” I was so moved by the story, I immediately went to the musicians’ website to buy their album.

I listened to one song before buying, but honestly–I didn’t need to. The idea of people crawling out of evil and hatred and misery and death to come together to produce music–that ultimate expression of humanity–that’s all I needed to know. That, to me, IS music.

I imagine some of you might feel the same way. To read more, and/or to order your own CD or digital version of The Calais Sessions, click here.

And to the person who left me that article? Thank you. You rock.

What If We Had a Memorial Day For ALL Victims of War?

Here’s a thought: what if we had a Memorial Day to commemorate all those killed by war?

Not just soldiers. Civilians. Families. Kids. Grandmas.

Here’s another thought: how might it be possible to make such a suggestion, in our polarized times, without being accused of not supporting our military?

I don’t wish to take anything away from the sacrifice of our people in uniform. Their courage humbles me.

(image courtesy Wikimedia)

(image courtesy Wikimedia)

But there is no stronger spokesperson against war than those who’ve been in it. And I can’t help but think that those men and women would agree with me that the lack of space in our culture to mourn the innocent bystander is a huge, huge hole.

(courtesy Wikimedia)

(courtesy Wikimedia)


What if we filled that hole? An international day of mourning for all those NOT in uniform who still paid the ultimate price of war? What would that look like? 

What do you think?