“Music is at once the most wonderful, the most alive of all the arts — it is the most abstract, the most perfect, the most pure — and the most sensual. I listen with my body and it is my body that aches in response to the passion and pathos embodied in this music.” Kurt Vonnegut
Kurt Vonnegut also wrote: “If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph: The only proof he needed for the existence of God was music.”
I grew up in a home where there was a lot of music around. My parents got me my own record player when I was around 11 or 12 and I would spend hours in my room listening to my lp’s and 45’s. Music was a saving grace through my growing up years . . . I was often drawn to melancholy songs that expressed for me the pain and loneliness pent up inside me. When I became a parent, my kids would always hear music at home or on the road, and they were influenced by the melodies, lyrics, beats, and the wonder of it. My son early on had one of those little keyboards and soon was playing back tunes he had heard and then composing his own melodies. Later on he got a guitar and I was amazed at how he could listen to a song and then play it back. I think Pearl Jam and Dave Matthews became major influences. Our son died when he was 28 . . . among my favorite memories are those of him and his guitar.
I took this photo recently on a hill on our property.
“. . . if you’re someone who knows the worst thing can happen at any time, aren’t you also someone who knows the best thing can happen at any time too?” Jandy Nelson ~ The Sky is Everywhere (A novel about a girl who loses her sister and best friend.)
The sky will always be one of my favorite subjects. You can never predict what its canvas will present you from day to day.
“Solitude does not necessarily mean living apart from others; rather, it means never living apart from one’s self. It is not about the absence of other people — it is about being fully present to ourselves, whether or not we are with others.” Parker J. Palmer
Parker Palmer, Thomas Merton, Robert Wicks, Frederick Buechner, are a few of the writers who have the ability to help point our hearts and our minds to truth and self-awareness – the kind of awareness that opens us to being present to ourselves and to others. Truth that expands us as loving, compassionate beings.
He left this world in his own inimitable style. Knowing he was terminal he quietly recorded his grand finale, Blackstar, as a parting gift to those of us left behind. And now volumes of stories are coming to light of just how special he was, not only as a musical genius, but as a generous compassionate human being. I have compiled a number of such posts on my FB page, https://www.facebook.com/donna.johnson.9237
He came to Nina Simone at a down time in her life to lift and encourage her. She said, “He’s got more sense than anybody I’ve ever known,” she said. “It’s not human—David ain’t from here.” His legacy shall in part be to inspire us all to be there for others.
Photo I took of my daughter holding the guitar that belonged to my son who we lost in a traffic accident in 2007.