In the commune we had a lot of meetings; I would say the ones that were not about work and logistics, were much like church. But not the solemn boring kind…more of the hallelujah lets sing and dance kind.
One of the common threads through all of our services was singing. We would sing in our grief and sorrow in times of loss, and we would sing in celebration. The songs could be written by our members, or classic hymns or songs we loved from various musical artists. (Of course songs from the grateful dead and the Beatles made a regular appearance).
When we would sing, whether it was in grief, reverence or celebration, all of our cares seemed to fall away. For that moment in time when all our voices were raised together, grudges were dropped, anger would dissipate and it seemed just for a moment, we were in perfect harmony.
We could not all sing, there were some with beautiful voices and a natural talent to carry a tune, and some who were, shall we say, somewhat less talented. (I fall with the later group). But none of that mattered because when we sang in unity we made something beautiful. We gave each other grace.
Reflecting on this brings to mind the song Amazing Grace, while I am not religious by any stretch of the imagination, the message of this song still rings true for me. Because who has not been lost and in need of being found? Who has not been able to see through the darkness and then been shown a light? I feel like that is what we were doing for each other during these times, showing each other grace. I saw people weep while we sang, and laugh too, there was a family song that actually incorporated laughter, and it was a favorite of everyone's. There is something healing about singing. I read somewhere that every human being has an intrinsic need to sing, it crosses all cultural boundaries. It is one of things I truly miss about living with the commune.
In those times when we are lost and blind, this is when we need grace the most.
Enjoy this beautiful version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HsCp5LG_zNE