Yesterday my blog, The Rabbi’s Pen, was quoted on NPR’s fabulous program, On Being with Krista Tippett. How this came to pass is kind of a nice story. Here it is…
On April 14, 2012 my good friend, Matt Coffman, and I saw Bela Fleck and the Flecktones at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. After the show, Matt and I stuck around to get autographs from the band. At that time I gave Bela a note inviting him to be a guest artist on my first album of original Jewish music: Be a Blessing. I did so in the spirit of “Who knows??? stranger things have happened!”After the show I wrote a blog post called, “Spiritual Reflections on Bela Fleck and the Flecktones” as a way of capturing some thoughts and impressions that the concert sparked. Neither the blog or the letter garnered any follow up from Bela, but the autographed poster hangs in my living room to this day. It’s made out to “Rabbi Micah” because I thought I might put it in my office.
Fast forward 3 years. On July 1, 2015 I received a really lovely email from the senior producer of On Being with Krista Tippett informing me that the my blog had come up as part of the research for an interview with Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn (fellow banjo player and Bela’s wife). The interview would be airing the following day and my blog post would be quoted during the interview. The producer wanted to alert me to this fact and thank me for the post. Needless to say I was ecstatic. Ecstatic because I’ve always dreamed of being on NPR and also because I am proud of the thoughts and ideas that fill the pages of “The Rabbi’s Pen” and feel that they really represent my voice.
I spent the following 18 or so hours anticipating the release of the podcast which you can listen to here. My blog, quoted pretty extensively, makes an appearance at around minute 38. While I was a little disappointed that Ms. Tippett didn’t attribute the blog to me by name during the interview I absolutely loved hearing my words come across the airwaves and brought to life by her beautiful voice. What strikes me as I reflect on how my blog informed the conversation is really the fact that Bela didn’t seem to know what to do with the ideas that I expressed. I’m not sure if Tippett would agree, but that’s my impression. It’s not a judgment, just an observation.
In the aftermath of what is clearly an exciting moment for me I had a chance to thank Ms. Tippett and give a shoutout to Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn via twitter. I was really touched that both Tippett and Washburn acknowledged my tweet.
Anyhow, that’s the story of my debut on NPR! I honestly couldn’t ask for a more meaningful scenario than being a part of a program that has such depth and thoughtfulness, especially when the guests were two musicians that I so deeply respect and admire.
Now every time I walk through my living room I can’t help but smile at the additional layers of meaning that emerge for me when I look at my autographed poster of Bela Fleck and the Flecktones. I’m also hoping its not my last shot at NPR!