let it be

When I downloaded Paul McCartney’s song Let it Be the other day from iTunes, I also found the version in the video above from the movie, Across the Universe. Sung by veteran stage actor Carol Woods and 15 year old Timothy Mitchum, the song is set against a scene depicting a family losing their son in Vietnam and the Detroit riots of 1967. I grew up in Detroit, only six miles from the epicenter of the riots. As a seven year old child at the time, I thought that the riots happened “downtown”, far away from my own quiet, tree lined street. And in many respects I suppose it was far away. As a white family, our experience of life in Detroit and in our country during the 60s was very different than that of African-Americans living only a handful of miles away.

When I look at Detroit today, I’m saddened to see that racial, social, and economic separation and isolation continues to have devastating effects on neighborhoods, on schools, and most importantly on children. And as I watch the nightly news and listen to the never ending debate over the political and military issues of the Iraq War, I can’t help but wonder if there ever really will “be an answer” or if mankind is destined to repeat the same mistakes over and over again. But you know, when I listen to beautiful music like the song Let it Be, when I see exquisite art and watch inspiring movies and plays, when I look up at the night sky and see the glory of a lunar eclipse, or when I look down and into the eyes of a newborn baby it gives me hope, and isn’t that what keeps us all putting one foot in front of the other most days?

One of my favorite quotes is by the poet Emily Dickinson, “Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul.” Isn’t that lovely? Have a peaceful and hope filled weekend dear readers:)

8 thoughts on “let it be

  1. bookbabie, I too grew up in Detroit, on a beautiful tree lined street (Esper). I was 6 during the riots and I have a couple vivid memories. Once we were driving home from my grandma’s in St. Clair Shores. My mom had a political bumper sticker on her car that a group of young black kids didn’t like. We were stopped at a light and this group rushed up and started rocking the car and yelling at my mother. She finally pulled away, shaking and telling us to use a blanket in the back to cover our heads. The young men started throwing rocks at the car and chasing the car, my mom screaming at us to get down. I remember there was a building on fire. Very scary to 6 year old eyes.

  2. I feel often the same–depending where I focus my attention. If listening to political rhetoric I feel all manipulated and that all is just puffery and lies (tell the truth but tell it slant…i don’t think that is what she means!)

    But watching John Lennon the other night, you get a sense of where “voice” for change and peace might be hiding, and if, also, the world can’t handle that much truth–and often kills it.

    I think we have to stand individually (even in silence sometimes) as forces of peace, as changed consciousness–in order to become a larger collective of Yes to the shit that flies all around our eyes and ears and minds.

    Thanks for this post.

  3. I have always used music as a way to convey my thoughts and feelings. Words touch so much deeper when sung, and that combined with beautiful melodies is something that I think all humans can relate to…no matter race, religion or otherwise.

    I loved this part of the movie. How can anyone see/hear something like this and not be moved? That to me is hopeful…

  4. Sometimes..to keep from losing my mind.. I have to tell myself to “let it be”. I can do this by reminding myself that this earth is not our home, then I once again find peace and hope.

    Thanks for the message in your post and for the wonderful link.

  5. Emily Dickinson always had such an amazing way of saying things, hey? 🙂

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  6. I love the Dickinson quote. Thank you for posting that! I saw in your profile that you like the Goo Goo Dolls. My daughters were in Puerto Rico recently on one daughter’s company award trip. They had dinner in the rain forest for the group one night. After dinner the entertainment was the Goo Goo Dolls! The girls said it was an amazing concert.

  7. wow! What an amazing rendition of this song. I had goosebumps all over!! And some powerful emotions. And I’ve never lived in the US.


  8. This is indeed a powerful and thought provoking song. The new rendition brings it all in more clearly… the more you question the less it makes sense let it be…and always have hope!

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