Saturday, April 18, 2009

Susan Boyle sings "Cry Me a River;" I learn a lesson.


(lyrics below)

The world got a lesson on rash judgments this week, courtesy of Susan Boyle, YouTube and Simon Cowell. It was, for me, a refresher course from a similar lesson earlier this month I'd like to share.

Husband and I were managing a shift at a local homeless shelter; a group of nine or so upper-middle-aged women came by for a visit and a tour. They were maybe a touch older than I, most of them. They looked like they were well-to-do, and I was distracted a bit by their clothing, jewelry, makeup...they made a nice-looking group in a casual sort of way. But I was busy and had time to interact with only a few of them as they interfaced with the house and it's functioning.

Just as they were gathering in the office for their final goodbye, I noticed for the very first time one of the group: the shortest, most plainly dressed, without makeup, a very short & cropped straight haircut...the least spectacular of them all. I had not even seen her...literally...until just before they were to leave.

She stood out to me because she was the dowdy one. In my grungiest jeans and a hair pulled back for my shelter-management work...I felt some affinity to her. How sad that I had been distracted by the other more showy women and missed my chance to talk with this one who was so clearly an individual.

As they said their goodbyes to their tour guide, only this woman reached unobtrusively into her purse and slipped the guide a folded bill, whispering that it was a donation to the shelter.

I felt at that moment like I was among the group to whom Jesus remarked, when he observed the widow donate her coins at the temple, "Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them..." To me, the plain woman in that moment showed up the others who were more attractive.

How much more do I miss?

Now you say you're lonely
You cry the long night through
Well, you can cry me a river
Cry me a river
I cried a river over you

Now you say you're sorry
For being so untrue
Well, you can cry me a river
Cry me a river
I cried a river over you

You drove me, nearly drove me, out of my head
While you never shed a tear
Remember, I remember, all that you said?
You told me love was too plebeian
Told me you were through with me and

Now you say you love me
Well, just to prove that you do
Come on and cry me a river
Cry me a river
I cried a river over you
I cried a river over you
I cried a river...over you...


ThomasLB said...

I remember the first time I heard Jim Nabors sing, and I had a hard time believing that voice was coming our of Gomer Pyle. It's kind of the same thing with Susan Doyle.

an average patriot said...

Excellent story. I thought you were going to say it was Boyle. She sang that great.

I saw her on Larry King live and she sang Celine Dion's song Near far wherever you are and she was singing it to the judge on American idol.

Not Cowle the other guy. She blew him a kiss when she finished and he invited her out to dinner in London before she sang and accepted. She won't be 47 and unkissed for long. Great story huh?

Border Explorer said...

Thomas...o my land--that is a very apt comparison.

Jim: Thanks for sharing the Larry King spot story. Susan Doyle has captured our imagination.

Carol said...

What a clear, beautiful voice!

Thanks for sharing your experience. A good reminder that we are all more than meets the eye.

Carol said...

Did I write that last line like I wanted?

I wanted to say that we are all more than what meets the eye.

There! :-)

mmlindsey said...

Powerful post! Oh, how our judgmental and critical spirits reek havoc on our lives, creating wide crevasses that hold back the healing of our land and our hearts.

Thanks for writing so well about the most true things!

Jan said...

Amazing voice! And a good lesson for us all.

Border Explorer said...

Carol: I got it (the first time!), but that thought definitely bears repeating.

Matt: The longer I know you, the more impressed I am. You're an amazing person--and I'm going to say that right here on the internet in front of God and everybody.

Jan: Yes, yes. I just watched a couple YouTubes of Susan's role model Elaine Page, and--wow--she is a dynamite singer, too. Now I understand why the audience smirked when Susan invoked her name. Strengthens the lesson.

okjimm said...

I have declared today “National Say “Hello” Day!


n a nice story, too!

eProf2 said...

When I read your story about Susan Boyle and the "plain" woman at the shelter it reminded me of one of my early lessons from my parents: Never judge a book by its cover!

Border Explorer said...

Jimm, man--what a good day to declare. I must be over to your place to say hello!

eProf: I'm in the slow group (the Blackbirds), I'm afraid. I keep having to do remedial work on this lesson. (sigh) But, I'm gonna get it one of these times "for keeps."

Mary Ellen said...

My fear is that some TV reality show is going to offer a "make-over" for Susan Boyle, so they can be pleased with themselves that they can make her into something THEY think she should be. How sad that would be...

She has such a gift, not just her voice, but the gift to teach the world a lesson in humility.

susan said...

Perfect teeth, perfect skin, perfect hair, perfect figure.. is it just me or does there seem to be a depressing uniformity to what's accepted as beautiful these days?

Spadoman said...

I've seen this video elsewhere, and it is wonderful. The last two people to comment before me, Mary Ellen and susan, hit the nail on the head and is the reason I don't, (won't) watch commercial TV shows. What someone tells us is perfect is not!

Ms. Doyle will make a fair bit of change now that she's spread across the internet and is quite a sensation in England already. Good for her and good that people are seeing the lesson in judging the proverbial book. I hope I take that and use it with what I hear and think as well as what I see when it comes to judgement of anyone.

seev said...

How beautifully she sings that song, and this was way back in 1999? Where has she been? Not glitzy enough to impress those that need glitz. But once by accident on a glitzy show, her content upstages the glitz! And analogously, a similar thing happens when you talk to the dowdy one. Interesting!

betmo said...

hey- my name is billie too :) neat. it's funny how we always seem to be so distracted that we miss out on the precious small moments of life. susan doyle, thankfully, is one we almost missed- but didn't. she is a treasure.

Border Explorer said...

Mary Ellen--wow, so nice to have you back! Good comment!

Susan, it is discouraging. It takes so much inner strength to buck the dominant system. But I thank you for the beauty you bring into the world.

Spadoman, I don't watch it either. We bond again.

Seev, that's a beautiful parallel between the two women. Thanks.

betmo, i wonder how much i miss. way too much. welcome, friend!