“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” – A.A. Milne Winnie the Pooh

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I have been sharing with you my memories, thoughts and dreams since December of 2015. Every write taught me something about myself that I didn’t think about or notice before. Every write a piece of me, self-deemed important enough to commit to ink. Every write with a secret hidden in it: sometimes written as if I wanted it to be put in a bottle and thrust to wander the seven seas; sometimes written as a confessional; sometimes written steeped in the desires of prophet, wanting so badly to be able to predict her own life; and sometimes nothing more than a love letter to my life with the hopes it might allow you to see your own; write your own.

But today, I write about you. I write about what you have taught me. You remind me there are lives far beyond my own life’s reach; when I do not pause to understand another’s. Some of you have taught me that to live music, is to be music. Your posts consist of what is next in the world of bluegrass; what the bluegrass community can do for the world: not just through music, but through heart and sincerity. You have shared with me your lifetimes; your travels for the birth of children and grandchildren. You have shared moments where you might be drunk with a pal, but more, you are drunk on your music and the life that is lived in it. You have shown me that it is true: music makes you smarter, kinder, and allows us a power to possibly soothe what might be considered a Frankenstein. You have shown me how you dance in your life; why you dance in your life. You have impressed upon me that music played in the key of sorrow brings comfort to those whom have lost. And yet, can be just as beautiful as the jig, punctuated with a key of joy while you discover all things life: A discovery of another way to see something or possibly even another way to see yourself. Your retrospection has proven wise and your

love for your bluegrass either came before your love of another style of music or after—it mattered not, much like the chicken or the egg. What was important? You’re covered in colors of music that bring humanity to a box of Crayolas beyond human imagination. You have shown me that life is not always intimate; that what we feel might be intimate is actually shared with our aunties and uncles; brothers and sisters; parents and grandparents, on the backs of our porches; at the dinner table; at the wedding reception or at the burials of loved ones: there is music in every story; and every write. I have watched you gather, like old hens, to help support your community and your neighbors; or give instruments for young ones whom cannot afford the means it takes to buy or learn an instrument. You have taught me more about my own country’s history and I have learned to appreciate a simpler time; a simpler story, and that in turn, has given me a new perspective of the stories I heard when I was no more than a dreaming whippersnapper. I have read your articles about music programs and festivals—and for what: Bluegrass; music; and the celebrations just waiting to fly deep from our souls and be shared.

I may not comment, but I do read your welcome columns. I play my ukulele again and my bass. I have joined a ukulele group and in my own way, I am a microcosm of what I have learned here. That we can believe differently from religion to politics, but through music and the love of… we distill ourselves to such purity, the other noise dissipates like a virga, on an autumn morning. And I am thankful to know this again; I had forgotten.

And so, this will be my last log in the world of CBA’S Welcome Column for awhile. My life has taken me a direction where I believe it is time to step away. But not without thanking all of you properly; because one thing is certain—your passions; your missions; your generosity has inspired me to continue writing and continue playing. You have allowed me to see us all equal again and more inspired me to go out in a quiet voice and remind others.

Thank you everyone…

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