Belief In Our Potential...
Friday, January 8, 2021
Saturday January 30th at 7:00 PM Central (8 ET/ 6 Mtn / 5 Pacific)
Fritz House Concerts (Houston, TX)
YouTube Live Link: https://youtu.be/H_q8Ixa0K4M
Saturday, February 6th at 7:00 PM Central (8 ET/ 6 Mtn / 5 Pacific)
Progressive Voices Concert Series (Des Moines, IA)
YouTube Live Link: https://youtu.be/A65SkIwHBVw
If you have problems with the above links then use: https://www.paypal.me/JoeJencksMusic
Dear Friends in Music,
I have a small piece of the Berlin Wall. A gift from a friend whose father took him to Berlin to watch the wall come down in 1989. He brought back a bag of crumbled bits of the wall to give out to friends. It sits on my dresser as a daily reminder of the power of the human spirit; the power to triumph over oppressive ideologies and systems, the power to affect positive change. I look at it now and I am keenly aware that I would not have imagined then, seeing the images we saw this week on US TV of the US Capitol under siege by armed citizens, seeking to throw away the very system that the people of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe were aspiring to create in the late 80s and into the 90s.
We are still aspiring ourselves. The pyramid on the back of a one-dollar bill is incomplete because our undertaking - as it says, is as yet incomplete. Each generation, each person must aspire to keep building on this idea of Democracy. A rule of law rather than a rule of might. A rule of justice rather than raw ambition. A rule of equity over injustice. Parallel to the ideas of Tikun Olam that arise out of Jewish mysticism, inviting us to repair the world and heal what has been broken, so too the very ideas upheld in our US Constitution and the Bill of Rights are the work of generations of people offering their best efforts to keep building a more just society, a world made more whole by our ongoing efforts.
Yes, it was a disturbing week. For any that still needed evidence of systemic racism, please note how complicit the system was in allowing a violent and armed group of white people to assail our Capitol. Please note how prepared those same law enforcement agencies were to suppress peaceful protestors of many races and ethnicities just months earlier at Black Lives Matter demonstrations. I heard one of the prominent US Senators say, this is not who we are. Unfortunately it is who we are, and we’ve all seen the evidence of it. But that is not the end of the story. The story is still being written. Each day that story is still being written by you and by me and by our fellow citizens and residents. And I hold a deep believe not just in the present moment, but in our as yet unfinished potential.
"The dogmas of the quiet past, are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise - with the occasion." ~ Abraham Lincoln, December 1st, 1862
I have faith in our potential. I hold that faith because of the kindness I have been shown and have witnessed in 22 years on the road full-time. I hold that faith in our potential, because I have met and had conversations with Rev. C.T Vivian. I hold that faith because I have sung with Bernice Johnson Reagon, Ysaye Barnwell, and Pete Seeger. I hold that faith because I have marched beside Delores Huerta and Baldemar Velasquez, Jon Fromer, Elise Bryant, and so many rank and file workers and members of the People’s movements. I hold that faith because even complete strangers of differing political beliefs have welcomed me into their homes, fed me meals at their tables, welcomed me into their houses of worship, and stopped to help me when I was stranded on the side of the road.
I hold faith and hope in our limitless capacity. This is who we are: as yet unfulfilled potential. I have faith in that potential, and I will keep working to bring it forth to the best of my abilities, in community with you.
In Gratitude & Song,
~ Joe Jencks