Taking the Final

May 7, 2023

It's the quiet of Sunday morning at another one of Music Therapy of the Rockies songwriting with wounded warriors retreat, my first time on staff again in nearly 4 years. I have talked about this work on stage often since I started working with my friend Mack Bailey's amazing program, and how in some ways it resembles cramming a college course into a weekend.

Yesterday I met yet another amazing human who stood in harm's way on my behalf, and bears many invisible scars from her service. On Saturday afternoons of these retreats, we spend time getting to know a vet one on one, hearing their story, and developing a deep bond of trust that we can tell it in a way that will help them forever reframe that story for themselves. Saturday night is when the hard work and sweat of crafting that story into a hopefully memorable piece of music happens.

And then, on Sunday it all goes down. Right after lunch she will hear her life sung to her from someone else's perspective for the first time. It is always entirely possible that she will deeply dislike it, and then there are basically a couple of hours to completely redo the assignment. Ready or not, I take the "final exam" – the concert in front of the veterans families and friends - at 3:30 this afternoon. Then we all exchange hugs, heartfelt goodbyes and best wishes, and disappear back into our own lives, forever changed by the experience.

I stayed up late working really hard for an A+ on this final, but I am not the one handing out the grades at the end. There is only one opinion that truly matters - hers.

#LuckiestGuyIKnow #sacredwork #songwriting #WoundedWarriors

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