Allen Toussaint: joy can change us

The late Allen Toussaint “had a sweet voice, gentle and worn in places, like the skin of a velveteen rabbit,” writes Amanda Petrusich in a New Yorker piece titled The Gladness of Allen Toussaint

For a glimpse of his voice, this interview.

What is his connection to a Princeton -centric blog? I had the joy of meeting him, once, and became an instant fan.  He inspires me even posthumously, through the words of others. Here, Petrusich:

It’s easy—nearly satisfying—to think of pain as transformative. But Toussaint’s work suggests a different way. Joy can change us, too—that’s evident in his songs. See something miraculous, and watch yourself reappear on the other side, different, better. There is so much gratitude in this music: a true gladness. What a thing to hold in mind. What a thing to let yourself follow, all the way down to the grave.

Or, as Odetta said As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

In this Advent season, let’s submit ourselves to the transformative powers of . .. joy!

Photo from New Yorker: Allen Toussaint, in northern Spain, in 2009.CREDITPHOTOGRAPH BY ADRIAN RUIZ DE HIERRO/EPA

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