I love jazz, especially jazz that comes with heartfelt emotions that connects mysteriously with one’s soul. Most of my Pandora stations are set to artists with a jazz connection; examples include Bill Evans, Etta James, and Dave Brubeck. Some are well known, others less so. For me it all starts with the music and the connection that artist has with one’s heart.
With time, I have come to appreciate that as good as any jazz can be, there are two ways of hearing it that are exception. First, when one hears it live. Second, when one listens to it through a vinyl record. Each brings a different dynamic, but at the center is a feeling that the words, music, and sounds are dancing with every fiber of my being. The result is something that starts with a wow and ends with a shiver and inability to articulate what is going on within.
As today dawns, my mind follows Life’s reminders of the exceptional ways things are shared. I am reminded of the Psalmist’s words, “There’s no one quite like you among the gods, O Lord, and nothing to compare with your works.” (Psalm 86.8) I close my eyes and remember the exceptions. I can feel Truth and Hope at work in the music on vinyl. I can hear Love and Hope singing in the silence of the unspeakable beauty in a sunset. There are even whispers of God in the experience of two sharing a heart conversation. Life is full of wonderful exceptions.
The exceptional is all around us. In what we see, Hope and Beauty are looking to invite us into something more. In what we experience, each moment is an exceptional opportunity of learning, growth, and possibilities. It what we do, we hold opportunities to invite others into the life exceptional possibilities.
Not every exception is positive. We live in a world where evil and good constantly battle with each other. My point rests in the exceptional; here we can discover sources of extraordinary strength, courage, hope, and opportunity to make a tangible difference.