Life in Music

I drove downtown for an appointment today, and while driving in the pouring rain, the state of the city, state, nation and world reminded me of three songs. Almost everything makes me think of either a song or a bible verse, or several of each, but today, in the rain, these three songs came to me. The first is “John and Mary,” by the phenomenal Mr. Pastorius. I think we as a world in the midst of a pandemic are in the middle part of the song. The song starts with some with a relaxed casual jazz – normal life – but then settles into a mid-tune lull (a crisis perhaps) – almost gone, shut down and eerily calm, and finally picks back up into a well arranged, coherent melody with a sense of togetherness again, and finally an altogether joyous wrap-up. We are in the middle.

Now then, I think if we take a magnifying glass or even a microscope to the Covid19 curve, we will find there in the tense, scary part of the lull or crisis, two separate worlds: One a Crisis (again put to music by the late, but always on time, Mr. Pastorius) representing the world of nurses, doctors, and all other crisis handlers. This is extraordinary fusion with Mr. Pastorius’ bass blistering along and and syncopated percussion seemingly matching nothing and yet everything (my favorite style – maybe why i don’t get to play with others much) They are as busy and stressed as can be. Government workers, making sure people deal with the virus correctly, private business managers and owners trying to avoid lay-offs and basic necessity providers such as grocers. And then second, given the closer look at the curve, we find people stressed with no way to handle the situation. Wondering what to do, wishing they could do something or go somewhere – something to help. This is put into music by the also late master, Gene Eugene, in “Who Will Hold Us.” The symbiosis between these sets makes the world go round.

So here’s the deal, from my perspective: There are Crisis Handlers and there Normalcy Sustainers. Both are as important as the respective portions of a wheel are to one another. Sometimes one is on the ground dealing with the pressure,and sometimes the other. We all play musical chairs once in a while, so while some that are accustomed to maintaining normalcy are having to take a back seat and let the Crisis Handlers take the front seat, let’s listen to some music and remember that we will all switch seats again at the next stop sign, or the next movement of the symphony, and Joy will be even more melodic when it returns.

That was my 20 minute drive to work.

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