The last four months have been crazy; crazy doesn’t even adequately describe all that has been happening. COVID-19 has forced us to be home, sit still, or binge watch movies, TV shows, YouTube, listen to podcasts, teach/entertain our children – at the moment content is king. I admit, COVID-19 has caused some personal anxiety, and is devastating for those who have lost their lives and loved ones from this illness. I thankfully have family members who have made it through contracting it, but a close friend lost her brother to it.
To keep from delving into a hole of fear and despair, I’ve chosen to see this pandemic as a reset. It has reminded those of us old enough to know a slower time how it was when stores were closed on Sundays. Whether in the middle of the night or on a Sunday afternoon, it was likely to spot only a couple of cars on the highways – literally. The morning air is fresh, people are walking on sidewalks – couples, families and individuals. There is an eerie quiet, a silence that I’ve grown to love. It’s become a comfortable place where I find solace amid daily pandemic updates on spread, deaths, job loss, George Floyd, racism, anti-Black racism, white privilege and supremacy.
I’m fortunate that I’ve still been able to work … from home, no rush to commute to an office. A welcome slow down as I have a couple of gigs and have been rushing from one to the next. So much so that life was easier preparing my meals on Sundays for the week, which I’ve come to truly appreciate – keeps me eating healthy. I also have Sunday music, that’s a staple while I’m cooking, reading or writing. Always in my rotation, with her soulful sound: Miss Etta James. I may add, remove, other artists, but Ms. Etta, well she is always my Sunday kinda love… except for the last couple of months.
There is only one CD, yes CD that has gotten any play in my CD player…at this moment in time. It’s the only one that resonates with my soul. It’s Bob Marley and the Wailers, Exodus produced by Tuff Gong, Island Records. Why this CD? Maybe it brings me back to a time when I was filled with the innocence of a child, too young to be aware of the ugliness of hate or maybe it’s happier carefree memories of Saturday mornings when my father played his records while we did our weekly household chores. Maybe. And maybe it’s the lyrics of the songs that were relevant then and could easily be written now for these times of continued injustice. Maybe. Maybe all of the above. Bob Marley is still one of the most well known artists worldwide, for his music, for his meaningful lyrics, an authenticity that cannot be denied.
He’s been gone 39 years, died on May 11, 1981, my 13th birthday. I was too young to truly have appreciated his talent, his message. But his gift, his gift to the world: soothes my soul, in the summer of 2020.