I don’t often feel hopeless but this morning was an exception. The news of the day filled me with despair. Then, tonight, I watched a documentary about John Coltrane that my dad recommended to me. Listening to Coltrane’s music was a balm, like a homecoming, especially since this music was the soundtrack of my childhood from my earliest memories. Even if you have never listened to this music, the story of Coltrane’s life is redemptive. His genius, his connection with Spirit, his desire to help others feel that connection and experience the unity of life is compensatory. Not that he shied away from the brutality of our country’s racist and violent past. He addressed all of it through his music. Towards the end of the movie, he is quoted as saying “I know there are forces out here that bring suffering to others and misery to the world but I want to be the opposite force. I want to be the force which is truly for good.” I am thankful for the reminder that we can always make a personal choice to be a force for good. I am thankful that John Coltrane was with us for forty years, and thankful for this beautiful accounting of his life and his music.