A few weeks ago, my husband and music partner James Harrell and myself performed some of our music at The Park Slope Armory in Brooklyn.
The Armory had been transformed into an evacuation shelter for senior citizens evacuated from the Rockaways during Hurricane Sandy. The Armory was literally packed with seniors and it took so many volunteers to keep it running every day.
Imagine being away from your home and all its comforts, where you are crammed in with so many others, the lights always staying on, with no privacy.
The Arts and Wellness area they set up at Armory was so great and gave so many opportunities for the evacuees to transcend the circumstances through arts, expression and special attention from those involved. We were honored to be a part of it.
We planned a set of our original music and the first song that came to mind was one of our songs called "Joy of Life." It perfectly captures a state of gratitude for being alive and for each moment of our life.
James played it on guitar and we both sang and harmonized together. We also gave the group some shakers and percussion instruments, to provide some extra energy to the song.
After we performed this song called “Joy of Life,” one of the women in the group, Latisha, who was blind and had been living in this shelter for almost 2 weeks, stood up and said that our song made her want to give a speech to everyone listening.
“We have all been through a lot these past weeks, it’s been hard, but we have to find the joy, find the joy in every day.”
This moment will go down as one of my favorites as a musician and as a human.