An old friend of mine, Ms. Barbara Ann Crumm, who knows my soul well, shared with me this wonderful (and, at times, heartbreaking) interview last year between two legendary women: Peabody Award-winning radio show host Diane Rehm and multi-Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Mary Chapin Carpenter.
It makes sense to receive this from Barb because the interview felt just like a conversation between friends, and these acts — both the interview itself and Barb sharing it with me — were a priceless passing on of wisdom, and experience, between women.
Among the many lessons shared was this gem from Mary quoting writer G.K. Chesteron, “The soul survives its adventures.”
Like most, Mary is someone who has both won and lost, which she has sung of with such emotional intelligence and depth of feeling in her songs for over three decades. And while she remains a potent force in music today with her latest album, The Things That We Are Made Of, in a career gilded with accolades and success, in her personal life, she has recently found herself dealing with life's other hand: loss — namely, the death of her parents and a divorce from her husband of many years.
But these experiences, too, she will survive.
When facing loss or the sometimes overwhelming burdens of our life histories, quotes and conversations like this remind me of the strength at our core. That inside us is something indestructible and permanent — but it takes hope, courage, and effort to transmute our pain.
"Trade the baggage of the past, for the lightness of being," Mary sings in "88 Constellations" off her new album.
It's not something that can be done easily, but as Mary shows, the work can be done.