5.11.2013

Searching for Sugar Man & Delivering the Message

I went to art school, lived, and worked in Detroit, Michigan during my 20s, and so when a friend recommended the movie Searching for Sugar Man I couldn't wait to dive in.

Detroit is a fascinating city for it nurtures some of the most industrious and creative people I have ever met. It's a place filled with rich ethnic heritages and truly represents the pulse our American melting pot.

I tried to explain once to a friend in small Wisconsin town what it had been like living in Detroit, and I said that when I was living downtown I had this sense that I was living on the front lines of America. It's a kind of living a breathing "razor's edge."

Detroit is a place filled with appalling poverty and tremendous wealth, saddening violence and incredible beauty, frustrating apathy and staggering creativity, as well as remnants of hate and burgeoning compassion. Detroit strengthens your roots so you have a realistic view of the world while also softening you to the struggles of other people. It's a place that continually fosters people who spread the light of fortitude, courage, beauty, and hope because those are the most essential ingredients you need to thrive there.

It's no wonder that a place like Detroit was fertile ground for Rodríguez, the poet and singer in the movie Searching for Sugar Man. It makes total sense to me that Detroit would be the birth place for Rodríguez' music that didn't take root in America in the 1970s but inspired a whole generation of people in South Africa while they were shaking off the bonds of apartheid.


sixto diaz rodriguez searching for sugar man music singer poet detroit
Sixto Díaz Rodríguez

This is one of most important ideas expressed in Searching for Sugar Man, for the message you are here to share may not be packaged in a way that the people you are closest to are ready to hear. The medicine you are here to deliver may not come via a direct route to your neighbor next door, your city's mayor, or your best friend. The message may need to take an indirect route, grow within a container of something more amazing than you could have ever imagined, and then arrive at its original destination after years of fermenting in love.

Remember you are just the delivery system for getting the message out and Divine Providence takes care of the who, where, how, and when people receive it. More importantly, it's essential to understand that you are a crucial step in the process but not the owner of the message. You are responsible for delivering the message but it's not yours. The message doesn't belong to you. It's bigger than you. However, you are the caretaker of this precious message whatever it may be and it requires a certain kind of emotional bravery to deliver it and believe in it.

So if you have a hope or dream or you are an artist, poet, singer, writer, teacher, parent, spiritual leader, or movement maker and you become discouraged that no one is hearing or understanding the message, keep the faith. Like a tree spreading seeds, you just need to show up and deliver the message and trust it will take root and grow in its own space and time.

The sharp edge of a razor is difficult to pass over; 
thus the wise say the path to Salvation is hard.

2 comments:

  1. I've got this in my Netflix que...can't wait either!.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Awesome! I think you'll love it :)

    ReplyDelete

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