Archive for November 26th, 2019


Sometimes you give birth to something or you’re part of a team that gives birth to an idea, and it grows and has a whole life of its own, and you feel grateful. It’s just so humbling.

–Glen Hansard


I understand the type of gratitude that singer/songwriter Glen Hansard is describing above. He was talking, I believe, about the life of Once, the movie that he, along with Markéta Irglová, starred in and wrote and performed the songs that made this little low budget film a hit in 2007. It then went on to be adapted for a stage production on Broadway in 2012. It was a hit there as well, winning 8 Tony awards.

Once— as an album, a movie and a play– definitely took on a life of its own and Hansard’s gratitude is understandable.

I know that feeling for myself, albeit on a much smaller scale. Every artist, I think, hopes their work will have meaning that reaches out to people in a way that it affects them deeply but that hope alone doesn’t make it happen. There is something beyond the intention and control of the artist.

That outcome is not predictable. It is a convergence of the work, time, tone, and the emotional perception of the person taking in the work.

In short, it is a small miracle.

To have a work go beyond my own understanding of it, to generate meaning that I never saw in it, and to become a real part of someone’s life is a certainly a wonder of sorts. And for me, there is nothing more gratifying than to be associated in any small way with such an occurrence.

I also feel humbled because, and I don’t know if this makes sense, it makes me feel my own smallness in the larger aspect of the work. I realize then that I only play a small part in whatever alchemy creates the miracle of art.

Hmm. Something to think about as we head into Thanksgiving.

Here’s Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová peforming the Academy Award winning song Falling Slowly from Once.





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