Music to my Ears
I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve sat in my car, the volume turned to 10, belting out one tune after another. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve driven down quiet suburban streets on a warm day with the windows rolled up because the noise level from the speakers would measure a 5.0 on the Richter scale. It’s no wonder I can barely get through any conversation without asking, “I’m sorry, I didn’t hear you, can you repeat that?” I take my music, my singing and my dancing very seriously. That does not mean, however, that I am a great singer and dancer, it just means that I take them very seriously.
Put on Louis Armstrong and I scat. A little Frank Sinatra, I’m a crooner. Play Aretha and I am woman who’s been wronged with love still on her mind. That’s not my Name by the Ting Tings, a feminist crusader. And don’t get me started on Notorious B.I.G. I’m a teen aged rapper from the streets of Bed-Stuy. The voices of these artists tap into the heart and soul of me. Through their stories, I am transported to another time and place.
Last month my daughter asked me to drop off her uniform at her job. Al Green’s For the Good Times was cranked up and it made me think of the challenge of relationships and loving through the hard times. By the time I arrived at her job, my cheeks were wet with tears. ”Are you o.k.?”my very concerned daughter asked as she rushed to my side. When she heard the song playing and discovered the reason for my sobs, she snatched her uniform from the seat and said in a not so concerned voice, “Get help!” In that moment, only Al understood my sorrow.
I come to this place honestly. The music of my parents was a steady presence in my childhood home. We dressed, ate, entertained, got ready for church, to music. My father’s den was and still is a treasure trove of jazz greats. ”Listen to this,” my father would say, grabbing anyone passing by, and we’d have to indeed listen, often with feigned interest, as my father sat, foot tapping, eyes closed, lost in the music of Errol Garner, Oscar Peterson or John Coltrane.
Lesa Cline-Ransome – Children’s book writer, reader, mother of 4, partner to one, dog lover, nester, walker, runner, truthful optimist, answer seeker, listener, negotiator, Boston girl, music maker, party starter, party ender, political, foodie, explorer, winter lover, fast talker, fighter, woman’s woman