Last month, on a getaway trip to Burlington, Vermont, my husband and I went to hear Mavis Staples perform at the Flynn Theater. Mavis was so good she blew us away! Mavis has been singing for SIXTY years and she is still going strong. My students at Marianopolis College here in Montreal heard all about Mavis from me. They've also heard my very poor rendition of her song "I'll Take You There." That's because I've been quoting that line over and over in my Journalism and Writing for Children classes. I keep telling the students their job as writers is to TAKE ME (and anyone else who reads their work) THERE -- to bring us into the worlds of their stories. (In fact, last week, I started humming the tune in class, and one of the students called out, "Please, Miss! Don't sing it!!" I think I've told you that I'm not exactly a gifted singer!!)
Well, this afternoon while I was driving home, I turned on CBC radio and there she was -- MAVIS being interviewed on a show called Tapestry. And though she was talking about music, I think what she had to say also applies to writing -- in fact, it applies to creative work of all kinds. Mavis quoted her dad, Pop Staples (also a renowned musician), who told her: "What comes from the heart reaches the heart."
AHHHHHHHH! I just loved that. I took Pop Staples's words as a personal message of encouragement. And I hope, whether you are one of the students in my class this term, or a reader who occasionally follows this blog, that you'll be encouraged by those words, too. That's our task -- to tell the stories, or sing the songs, or paint the paintings that come from our hearts. PS: TAKE ME THERE!!!!
And let us add to our task list:And play the music on our instrument of choice.I have been playing piano since very young and continue to play.And though i am far ,far,from superb,the music i play comes for a place deep within my heart each time i sit to play.The message gets out to those who listen to me ,and They know too that the music is clearly from me and my soul.
Hi Monique! I hope you were watching "Sunday Morning" on CBS this past Sunday -- one of the segments was devoted to Mavis Staples. It was the first I'd heard of her but was really impressed by her career and life story.