96… 19… 55.
Old age… Heroin… A motorcycle.
A funeral… A one-year remembrance… A memorial service.
Bubba… Josh… Clint…
Robin Williams. Michael Brown. James Foley.
Family… friends… loved ones…
How do we get up every morning? How do we stay happy? How do we thrive?
When did life become so difficult, painful and challenging?
We live, we laugh, we love.
We die, we cry, we break.
We celebrate, we lose, we mourn.
So how do we celebrate more, knowing that there will always be sadness, and loss and suffering?
How do we live every day to the fullest and not get dragged down into despair, heartache and depression?
Where do we find our peace and solace and comfort?
It’s out there… It is. In fact, it is right in front of us.
It is in the eyes of a lover, the smile of a child, the laughter of a friend.
It is in our pets, our gardens, or our parks.
It is in a cloudless sky, on a mountaintop, in the ocean.
The heat of the sun on our face, a cool breeze on our backs, and hopefully a drop or two of rain.
The longer we live, the more we lose… but also the more we gain.
We have joy, and laughter and bliss…
Art… and music… and dance.
Life will give us all these terrible things, so it is our job, our duty, our responsibility to fight like hell for the good parts…
Don’t be afraid cry, to feel loss deeply, to hurt… But then make sure you laugh out loud, sing at the top of your lungs and find immense pleasure.
If life gives you lemons make lemonade, lemon pie and lemon pops.
Make a vinaigrette, a stunning sauce and melting lemon drops.
Lions and tigers and bears…
Blue birds and dreams and rainbows…
“Always look at the bright side of life… “ (Insert whistling here)
– Eric Idle and Monty Python
“All things must pass…”
– George Harrison
“Do you believe in Rock n’ Roll?
Can music save your mortal soul?
And can you teach me how to dance real slow?”
– Don McLean
The power of music cannot be denied…
It will help us understand, heal and elevate.
It will bring us together in a darkened hall, on a dance floor or as we lay side by side.
It soothes the soul, eases the mind and gives the heart utter joy.
Close your eyes… open your ears… expand your mind.
Fill your heart, fill your brain, fill your soul.
“If music be the food of love, play on…”
Play on, play on, play on…
Life is a circle…
G-d, Nature, the Universe… whatever you believe, makes it so.
What is up to us, is how we fill that circle…
What colors we paint it… what we draw on it… what words we inscribe it with.
Here is what I wrote after Tuesday’s funeral:
“A plain wooden box
A hole in the ground
No matter how high we soar
We are all coming down.”
We are all human beings, all basically the same, all made up of similar parts…
We are all seeking a good life, love and light. And sometimes we need to fight for these things…
We wish it could be with a pen, a poem, a musical note… and that is a goal devoutly to be wished… Worthy… lofty… essential.
And that fight can be in a conversation, a letter or a text… saying I love you, I’m here for you… I understand…
So let us strive for those heights, that connection, that humanity.
Let us all find joy as we fill in our circles…
Love is music and music is love, and never be afraid to sing… never be afraid to dance… never be afraid to share.
And let it go around and around and around… A spinning cassette wheel, a spinning vinyl platter, a spinning disc…
We go around and around and around…
Around and around and around…