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Speaking in Stories
Stories for Preachers, Teachers, and Writers


If We're Not Supposed to Dance, Why All This Music?

A few months ago, while driving through town, I heard an interview on public radio. The guest was Gregory Orr, a professor of English at the University of Virginia, and a published poet. In the interview, Gregory told a story about accidently shooting his younger brother in a hunting accident when he was twelve years old. The accident resulted in his brother’s death.

Obviously, that experience devastated him and his entire family. He carried that pain with him for many years, and to some degree, he still does. However, in the years following that tragedy, Gregory learned to live again, and love again, and laugh again, and experience joy again. In spite of that awful experience in his past, Gregory is full of overwhelming gratitude for the many gifts of living. And that gratitude saved his life in every possible way. He ended the interview by reciting a short poem he wrote called “To Be Alive.” The closing line of the poem is: “If we’re not supposed to dance, why all this music?”

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