Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Elements

Music is a powerful Uniter; I had the fabulous opportunity to go see a concert last night and it was proven to me once again that music crosses every boundary us humans try to set up...race, age, gender, etc...and I am, as always, in awe of its power.
I know I've discussed this here in the past, but for those of you just tuning in now: I love old soul music. LOVE IT. My absolute favorites include a whole lot of stuff that was popular on the radio about thirty years ago, and to be honest, a whole boatload of stuff that most white people have never heard of, or only vaguely know about, and that's fine by me. Growing up, it was hard on me at times, because I lived in a mostly white area with friends who liked whatever was currently playing on the radio.

Even then I was an old soul...

So last night I got an awesome treat: my husband surprised me for our Anniversary and took me to see Earth, Wind, and Fire in concert. They've had more than a couple of crossover hits, so if nothing else, you've probably heard the song September or Sing a Song or even the disco-era classic, Boogie Wonderland. They were fantastic! We were up, out of our seats most of the night, dancing and clapping and singing along. This group has a bunch of true musicians: twelve people on stage really going at it, one of them even playing the kalimba, which is an African thumb piano. Amazing! It was truly a night to remember.

But there's more. When we sat down, we met our concert mates to the right of us, and of course I began chatting them up right away. They were an older African-American couple, a friendly pair who happened to share a lot of the same musical tastes that I did, and I happily spent the time waiting for the concert to begin chatting up the wife. We spoke of different soul artists we had seen live; those who had passed on too soon (Hello Luther Vandross) and the like. We chatted about the people streaming in, and remarked about how nice it was to see a lot of young people attending. It was a great mix: white, black, young, old, and a little bit of everything else thrown in. We talked about how music brings people together. I found her charming, and I ended up revealing to her how excited I was for this particular concert.

To give Roc some props: I couldn't believe he pulled off this level of surprise, and it earned him some serious double-digit points.

So we swayed and we sang and just about as the night was coming to a close, she turned to me, grabbed my hand, looked me directly in the eye, and said:
"Keep listening to that good old music. Don't listen to what other people like. You see? I'm 62, and good music has kept me young, and full of life. I don't often do this, but..." she then slipped a bracelet off her arm and deftly slipped it on to mine. "I want to give this to you. God Bless you."

With that, she slipped away and vanished into the crowd.

I sat there stunned for at least a full minute. I looked down at the bracelet and then went to look for her, all while trying to tell Rocco what had transpired. I felt overwhelmed by her generosity, but also a little strange; I felt like I wanted to give her bracelet back to its rightful owner. Roc assured me that would offend, and I didn't see her anyway, so I went home with an unusual souvenir.

I never even got her name, but I know I'll never forget this woman, who shared an aisle, an appreciation, and so much more.


  1. Wonderful post! How cool was THAT? "September" has been high on my list since it was new...

  2. It still feels surreal...!
    My God, imagine if we were all like that with one another...?
    :) Stell


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