Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Salted with Tears

It has been a while since I’ve cried and I’ve missed it. After a fine, fun day with my small, but powerful jazz class, I came home and had the good sense to sit and play piano for some three hours. Bach, as always, but also Beethoven, Chopin, Debussy, Grieg, Handel, Mozart, Scriabin and then into the jazz repertoire and as my neighbor’s curfew approached, I revisited one of my favorite jazz ballads, Haunted Heart. And that’s when the tears began to flow.

This is a beautiful song that I introduced to my good friend Fran and she grew to love it as much as I did. And so the song delivered its message, my haunted heart thinking of my companion in singing at the Jewish Home, gone now almost two years and damn, I miss her. She was on my left side as I sat at the piano and my Mom was on my right and don’t I miss her terribly as well? Yes, I do. My Dad gone 11 years now and I miss our phone calls whenever I was about to go traveling and I’d give him a ritual goodbye call and he’s always end with “thanks for calling” and I’d say, “thanks for being there” until one day he wasn’t.

And then my sadness spread to the whole sorrowful situation my beloved country is in, run by a man with no heart and surrounded by the soul-less zombies who keep him in a place he has no right to be in. My usual response jumps between outrage and humor and some big-picture philosophical view that this too shall pass, but really, shouldn’t we all just be weeping openly in the streets every day that we have come to this? It’s a different quality of tears than the remembered love for those who have passed, but still it’s important to wholly feel the grief of all the dreams deferred and trampled and insulted and dismantled. Maybe we should have a march with no anger or funny signs or dancing to drums and instead, gather as millions in Washington and engage in some collective weeping the like of which has never been heard. Not only for all the suffering souls here and now, but a grief for all the wandering ghosts of our brutal, brutal history who we still refuse to properly grieve for and atone for our sins. Let us dine occasionally on the full measure of our sorrow and salt his necessary meal with our own tears.

Live close to tears said Albert Camus and all those who refuse to feel and are content to live in perpetual distraction, those who feed on their own greed and cruelty, those who are so afraid of life that they think tears are weakness, are about as far away from that advice as one could be and we all suffer from it. Let it flow, people! If you need help, I’ll come over to your house and play Haunted Heart for you . 

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