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A Bridge to a Better Day

Posted in: Blog by amy on October 29, 2011

How many of us revere certain musicians? Athletes? Movie stars? For many, they are role models. They are sources of inspiration. They are idols. But, of course, they are just people — people about whom we don’t even know that much.

Yes, many people should be admired for their great talents, their amazing road to success or their superhuman ability to throw a football. It’s uplifting to consider somebody’s gift and to dream about all that we are capable of achieving. But do you ever wonder who inspires the very people who inspire us? And, do you ever step back to respectfully pay attention to the heroes who are in your own backyard?

Last weekend, I witnessed a beautiful portrayal of inspiration, determination and perspective. I had traveled to San Francisco to attend the annual Bridge School Benefit. It was my first time going to this music event, which Neil Young started 25 years ago, and I am certain that it will not be my last.  My sister convinced me to go by telling me about this year’s lineup, which included Beck, Arcade Fire, Eddie Vedder and the Foo Fighters. That was enough information for me to purchase a plane ticket. And, when she tried to describe how uniquely special this event was, I had no idea what was in store.

Twenty-five years ago, Young’s wife Pegi came up with the idea to put on a concert to raise money for a school for children with severe speech and physical impairments. The Bridge School was born, and it’s annual benefit has been impacting many students’ lives for many years. This year’s benefit also impacted this concert goer who was so moved by the music, by the musicians’ dedication to this benefit and by the determined children up on stage. The students were sitting on the stage at 2:00 pm on Sunday when I arrived at day two of the weekend-long concert, and they were still up there moving to the beat nine hours later as we headed to our car.

Despite the fact that I got to hear Beck play a bunch of songs from his Sea Change album (definitely a highlight), what I will always remember about this event is the students and the way in which the musicians played to them. Eddie Vedder sang directly to the students behind him, saying “These kids have had a huge impact on my life.”  Dave Matthews said that this event “fills my spirit” and commented that these students actually school us. And, Arcade Fire’s lead singer said “There’s nowhere we’d rather be than right here, right now.”

It was quite a moment — quite a powerful afternoon and night. And, as videos played on large screens, showing the students in their day-to-day lives, preceded and followed by artists’ heartfelt performances, I had tears in my eyes. It was true inspiration. As much as I’ve always been moved by a song, it was the strength and determination of these kids who were dealt a most challenging hand in life that really left its mark on me. I will always remember this music experience, which turned out to be like none other. I will always remember the students who provided a most beautiful backdrop to the performances. And, I will remember the words of Dave Matthews who said, “The world needs more events like these that bring people together.”


If this blog inspired you, if music inspires you, if today inspires you, consider making a donation to the Bridge School: www.bridgeschool.org

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3 Responses to “A Bridge to a Better Day”

  1. Sue love says:

    Sounds beautiful! Just like u!!!

  2. jojo says:

    drop any acid for old time sake?

  3. amy says:

    You must have your Amy bloggers confused!!! This girl was always a rule follower!

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