The late Steve Jobs said, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward. You can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that someday they’ll connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference.” Robert Frost’s poetic conclusion “and that has made all the difference” from The Road Not Taken echoes the same idea.
In 1995, following a guest recital appearance at a college in Kentucky, I promised myself never to sing again in public. (Although it had gone well, I felt way out of my comfort zone.) However immediately following that promise, I got a “download dot” from what I call God which said, “Oh yes, you will, but you’ll do it with Oscar.” With that, I sighed, “OK, if I can do it with Oscar.” I had one rule however – all opportunities would have to come to me. I would not initiate anything. So I waited for seven years.
In 2002, an invitation was extended by Diane Gold Toulson, a beloved pianist and flutist in State College, to sing a recital at the Centre County Library in Bellefonte, PA. Being a Bellefonte H.S. alum and having taught there for 18 years, I felt right at home. I interpreted this as a sign to sing “with Oscar.” This resulted in my first Rodgers and Hammerstein “sing-along” experience. With it being Mother’s Day, I dedicated the concert to Oscar in honor of all his mothering qualities which had guided and inspired me throughout my life.
That was ten years ago this past weekend. Each “dot” since that May 12, 2002 event has and continues to unfold a connection “with Oscar” which exceeds my wildest dreams. Last week, I sojourned at Highland Farm for three wonderful days planning our June 2nd Doylestown, PA Bicentennial Brown Bag Sing-Along Social. It will take place on the lawn of Oscar’s home from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00. Please come and join us. Also while there on May 9, Christine Cole, owner of Highland Farm, and I had lunch with the renown Herman Silverman (age 93) of Doylestown at his beautiful Silverman Gallery. Oscar and Herman had visited with each other almost every Sunday. Herman attended the first preview performance of South Pacific in New Haven, CT with his best friend and author of Tales of the South Pacific, James Michener, and their wives. That will be another post. Needless to say, being with him and hearing his Oscar-related stories was magical. Next month, I’ll be having lunch with Oscar’s step-nephew, economist and author, John Steele Gordon, and Bruce Pomahak, the music director of Rodgers and Hammerstein, Org. Pinch me!
Reflecting upon each wonderful dot and patiently anticipating the next, I can only say, “Thank you, Father-Mother God. You are indeed trustworthy! I’m grateful that I have been given the wisdom and humility to obey what Steve Jobs called our “gut, destiny, life…” That IS making all the difference.