Ric Masten: A singular life

On Sunday we’ll be talking about people we care about who’ve died in the past year. One of those people was not a personal friend of mine, but someone I hold a deep appreciation for. He is the author of one of our hymns: “Let It Be A Dance.” And he died at the age of 77 last March of prostate cancer. He was a Unitarian Universalist traveling poet and troubadour and many UU churches enjoyed his services.

There is a wonderful article about Ric Masten’s life in a local Monterey, California, paper, and you can read it by clicking here. I’ll tell the story of how Ric came to write “Let It Be a Dance” in the service. His incredible spirit allowed him to survive nine years after he was told he had six months to live. Stubborness and fierce indepence of thought was a big part of that longevity, but also his philosophy of life and death. You’ll read about that in the article.

Here is the ending to another one of his songs, “Waterfalls and Tigers.”

… Now waterfalls or tigers,
Somethin’s gonna get ya.
We’re here today. Tomorrow, we’ll be gone!
It’s the sound of one hand clapping,
if you try and fight it:
Brother, you’re gonna miss the song …
(chorus) Sing a song….sing a song,
When hope has been abandoned,
sing a song —
Brother it would be a real catastrophe
if you should fail to stand and sing a song …