Are you free? If you aren’t, is it time to free yourself?

Last night, John and I went to see Preservation Hall Jazz Band and the Blind Boys of Alabama — a phenomenal show full of joyous, uplifting music that makes my soul feel good.

One of my favorite numbers of the night was Blind Boys singing the traditional spiritual Free At Last. Though it’s a powerful anthem of the Civil Rights movement, this performance got me thinking about other interpretations.

In an extended version of the song, singer Jimmy Carter led the crowd in a call and response asking “Are you free?” For the largely white, middle-class crowd in Tarrytown, N.Y., the question likely didn’t have the same meaning as to those whose families endured slavery.

But as the song continued, my mind turned over the things that pull us down: bad habits, unhealthy relationships, unfulfilling jobs, poor choices, debt, regret, anger.

Are you free? The start of a new year might be the perfect time to free yourself from whatever keeps the answer from being yes.

Click here to watch the Blind Boys performing in New Orleans, including in the Preservation Hall.

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Categories: creativity, lifestyle

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