Here is what amazed me about the event. Many of the people who attended were obviously troubled, broken people. They wore their painful pasts on their faces, on their bodies, in their clothes. Some shared about their troubles when they got to the microphone. I was a bit worried, wondering if people with such difficult stories would have had the advantages to learn what it takes to turn their sufferings into art.
That shows what a snob I am.
Because I was totally wrong. As soon as they began singing, reciting their poems, or playing their instruments, these struggling people were transformed into something beautiful. The most hurting person there, to judge from appearances, had the most powerful poetry and the most beautiful voice.
The group of upper-middle-class church-going musical-singers were lousy.
Those who were self-described as ex-cons and ex-druggies were amazing. One talked about how when his life was at its worst, "All I had was a pen and paper." Another time he said, "All I had was God." And the two worked together in his mind, his life, and his art. He was amazing.
Serves my elitism right.