Friday, August 16, 2013

ukulele dreams

Every once and awhile, the Universe throws me a juicy bone!  I opened the morning paper to discover my ukulele hero Jake Shimabukuro would be performing locally that weekend and at a small, intimate venue. I called for Cowgirl, sat her in front of the laptop and had her watch the video of Jake playing While My Guitar Gently Weeps on ukulele. I believe when her mouth wasn't hanging open, she was saying "wow!"  That confirmed I was buying us tickets and three nights later, we were at the show.

I'm not sure I can explain why it was such a powerful experience for me.  He is an amazing performer and the passion and pleasure and joy with which he plays is evident the moment he bounces onto the stage.  The sounds he coaxes from those four strings is not to be believed.  But what resonated with me was the immense gratitude he voiced when he shared with us his wonder at being able to share what he loves with so many.  And that what kick started his career was the above mentioned YouTube video going viral.  

It was a reminder - a much needed reminder for me - to hang on to my dreams, follow  passion and to not allow set backs and challenges to cause me to loosen my grip.  In fact, when an obstacle presents itself, that is when I need to grab on tighter and reaffirm my commitment to myself and my work. 

Sadly, I didn't think to bring our sky blue ukulele, so we had nothing for Jake to sign.  But the line was long and we watched him enthusiastically greet each person even though he played closed to 2 hours without a break!  Next time ... and by then, we will have a few more chords under our belts.

It was also a beautiful lesson for Cowgirl to find something you love to do and follow that as far as it will carry you.  Not for the accolades or the fans or critic's approval; but for the possibilities of living full out joy-filled living, and watching how that energy ripples out and impacts others to live life with similar passion and celebration.

Thank you Universe ... and Jake.  The generosity of his spirit cracked opened my tired heart.  His gift is he does make you believe ...

Cowgirl and I both needed the buzz of that only a ukulele can bring: one part bubbling inspiration, one part soul stirring expression, topped with a cherry-bright experience of the optimist's gift - the magical yearnings of a child's heart made manifest and filling the air one note after joyful note.



  1. Wooooooow! I never considered myself a ukulele fan UNTIL NOW! Thank you, Lisa - I really needed this heart hug today!! Heading off to see if I can find other YouTube videos of this awesome fellow!

    p.s. You & Cowgirl = sooooo adorable <3

  2. Wow! I didn't realize the ukulele was so COOL! Thank you for sharing. Love the picture of you and your beautiful girl. She's starting to look so grown up!

  3. Wow! I'm ... um, I'm not sure what I am! :) I've always loved gently weeps, but NOW?! So lovely! Glad you got to see him live, such a privilege. Beautifully written post. Email to follow soon! Fi xx