I suppose the best thing I can say about 2020 is that (at least for me) everyone showed their true colors this year... and good or bad it's important to know people for what they are and not try to make them more than they are ever capable of being... and at the same time appreciate the people who really stepped up and helped make a difference.
The things and people in life that excite us are not random they are connected to our soul and are part of our purpose in living every day...With each new chapter or different passage of our life certain things and people are lost and hopefully something or someone new and improved takes it's place... but sometimes certain things need to be lost or left behind no matter how much we want to hold on and some things can stay with us forever... but I'll get back to this later...
I have been somewhat reluctant sometimes to embrace new ideas especially technology... I'm probably the last person I know to have to finally get a Smart Phone... I really did not mind having a dumb phone because I primarily used it to make and receive calls... but now I can't imagine going back... the other major thing was accepting how the music business changed and my participation in it but maybe more importantly... buying music from iTunes... now I love the ease to which we can buy and build a music collection... I still have all of my CD's stored in a box and have no intention of getting rid of them... this is mostly due to the fact that I have a lot of thought and time and a small fortune tied up in them... it's the time that is most precious to me... there was a period in my life that I could spend hours in a record store (and a book store ) perusing, considering ... reconsidering and buying music.This particular record store in Westwood Village near UCLA is where a substantial amount of my time time and money was spent... the other Tower on Sunset was bigger and held events where artists promoting their new albums would come and perform and sign autographs... I sang backup for a couple of people and was included in a few these events and was reluctant to participate initially because of the fiasco factor that I always consider with large crowds and was also certain no one would be interested in having backup singers sign their albums... I was wrong on both counts... it was fun... and people want anyones autograph if they are involved with a show or event for some strange reason. The events and the actual stores have been lost to time...
The Tower Records in Westwood is where I bought the vinyl albums of Janis Ian's "Stars" and Steven Bishop's "Careless"
The songs on these continue to be all-time favorites and the the lyrics to a few (especially Stars) will play in my mind forever... I have owned them in the original vinyl, cassette, CD (getting these on CD proved to be a monumental task when I wanted them) Both are collectable and I searched used record stores and thrift stores to no avail and finally looked on Amazon and Janis Ian "Stars" was selling for about $600.00 from a private seller and "Stephen Bishops "Careless" was a Japanese Import going for about $60.00 + shipping from Japan... I've been known to do crazy things in my life but spending $600.00 for a used CD is not one of them... after tossing and turning for about a week I finally bit the bullet and ordered "Careless" because the hours of enjoyment I have had from listening to these songs again was worth every dollar spent... on a side note about a month later I found Janis Ian "Stars" at Housing Works Thrift Store for $3.00... both are downloaded and part of my music library. (I am happy to tell you that if you are interested in either of them that both have been remastered and reissued and are now available at a reasonable price)
I feel the same way about bookstores now as I used to feel about record stores... I can spend hours in them and if it's a rainy day I can spend the whole day... sadly many of some of the ones I loved best are gone but a few still exist and when the world returns to whatever the new normal is going to be I hope to go back and visit Alantis Books in Santorini and Shakespeare And Company in Paris... and a few more around the block and the world.
I saw a quote somewhere recently "I drink coffee and read books and I know things..." mine should include "I listen to music... I drink coffee and read books and I know things" one of the most difficult things for me about dealing with what covid-19 brought was the isolation... if it had not been for my other half... and books and music I think I would have lost my mind... that and that we could stay in touch with people that we wanted to via social media and by telephone (since it no longer costs an arm and a leg to telephone someone long distance)... but with all of this I've found that being without certain people can be a blessing in disguise in that you find certain peace of not having to deal with them or their issues regularly and it's made editing some people off my friend and acquaintance list much easier. I've had a lot of time to consider and reconsider things that are meant to be and some of the changes that have occurred in the last year... I have never once thought that anything or anyone should last forever or even a lifetime.. but I have had a chance to reflect that sometimes people and the circumstances surrounding them are part of your life to teach you something before it's time to move on and maybe it's what we have learned and what we have become because of it and we share going forward are what is the forever or the lifelong factor of certain experiences and lessons of our life.
Everything becomes a little easier to deal with when we realize that are lives are part of the seasons... many people equate autumn with the end of youth and the start of winter and old age... but it's really that autumn exists and is part of the cycle to remind us when certain things need to end so that new things can begin.
Some of the things that really hit home during all this time spent alone at home is that on any given day for about 150,000 people around the world today is the last day of their life and handful of them I'm still mourning now and they will stay in my thoughts until the end of my life...and with that it's extremely important not to save anything or any words for a a special occasion... because being alive is the special occasion... as things are becoming uncertain again with the thought of the second wave of the pandemic and what is coming with it I've thought about everything that has been lost and found since my days spent at Tower Records... It's not so much what has happened but how it's been overcome and what I have become because of it that are important.
Another important thing I've been so overdue in learning is I used to say "We are all in the same boat!" but we are not... rather we are all in the same storm... some of us are riding it out on a luxury yacht and some people are in row boats and others are holding on for dear life to a sinking life raft... it's very important to consider more than our own experiences when expressing our opinions especially with the way everything is now; we live our lives to taste it in the moment and also in retrospect so it's extremely important to understand not only the important aspects of the moment but all of the context as well.
Between a fire, a flood, a hurricane, a thief and carelessness a lot of things have been lost over the years but I've found more and maybe most importantly I found that sometimes the love of your life comes after the mistakes of your life...and no matter what above all else we have to look forward not backwards...
See you next time... continue being safe by keeping your distance but with an open mind and heart!
II'll leave you with this... but consider something while you listen... I think one of the reasons I have such an affinity with books and music is that with the passage of time and with new experiences and the losses and victories that come with it we almost always discover some new insight and idea from them...(click below for YouTube link)
Edited by Kawika