Monday, May 24, 2021 (In 2 days May’s Super “Flower” Moon will rise fullest to Earth + a total eclipse!)
This morning has a still-gloomy sky overhead offering more rain. Like yesterday, when for most of the afternoon, I was in my she-shop sorting through a jumbled accumulation of nuts and bolts and periodically hearing rain on the metal roof. That rain provided background sounds, until finally, I decided to listen to music.
After cranking up a wi-fi speaker, consulting my phone’s listings, and considering the moody atmosphere, I selected “Billie Holiday’s Greatest Hits”. To my surprise hearing her songs became a magical experience.
It was years since last I’d heard Billie. I had preferred her recordings from the time near her death from a drug overdose in her fifties. I thought her older, smoky voice communicated with unique beauty, life, experience, and wisdom. I considered her earlier 1930s and early 40s voice a bit too sweet and charming. Yesterday, in astonishment, I wondered what my younger self could have been thinking!
Young Billie’s sounds were new experiences. That incredible songstress perfectly communicated life’s flirty romances, deep love, fun feelings, and the sadness of loss. With incredible musicianship and a unique style of singing (slightly behind the beat), she intelligently articulated and perfectly shaded each word.
I felt deeply “into Billie” when the album ended, and before I could select more music, the wi-fi did it. A sudden woman’s voice emanating powerfully from the speaker compelled me to listen, and within a heartbeat, I recognized Nina Simone, another absolutely-genius musician.
I stood, outwardly sorting, but internally focused on biographies and times of those women, and of myself. The impact of listening reminded me of the prominence of music in a recent outstanding French film, “Portrait of a Woman on Fire”. Listening and hearing brought the reopening of old memories and of feeling connections.
Dear Friends: Experiencing music, at its best, is all-encompassing and deeply emotional. Diana