Keep on Singing
Last night, I was at my neighborhood Walgreens dealing with one of the mundanities of everyday life: buying shampoo, conditioner, and sunscreen, and despite what these consumer brands may tell you, this was not incredibly inspiring.
As I was going through the options - Suave Extra Moisture or Pantene Anti-Frizz; chemical or physical barrier sunscreen - an employee passed me in the aisle, smiled and said hi. As she began restocking the shelves, she started singing along to the pop tunes playing on Walgreens radio.
And she was so good. She had a strong voice and she knew every word, and every key change. When the next song came on, she continued singing without missing a beat.
When I checked out a few minutes later, she was also the one who rang up my sale.
As I paid, I told her, “Keep on singing.”
She sort of blushed, smiled, and said, “Thank you,” as she handed me my receipt.
I don’t know that I would have said that to her last year or even six months ago. Very likely, I would have been too concerned about getting in and out so that I could go do whatever the next “important” thing that I had to do and I would have missed the truly important thing that was right in front of me - the opportunity to connect to a person.
This little interaction exemplifies what I’ve seen - and what I’ve felt - about the arts, and the creative industry more generally: It gives us freedom. Freedom to create, to sing, to connect,to be our more perfect selves, and to share a little bit of grace with each other.