A song by Sting
Excellent, and for a reread. Peace..
Breathless again from your essay/Eulogy...as you contemplate life and Death....thank you for helping us do the same Gently...My father was a man of science..hard science,a ME..dealt with disease and death everyday (autopsies)He didn't believe in organized Religion,yet saved thousands, possibly millions of lives(worked on polio vaccine) Your parents raised an outstanding behaviorist chronicler of OUR times . Infinite thanks 🌌🌌🌌🌌☮️🍾🥂🗼
I also love..An English Man in New York...Sting is a Royalist.. somewhat..At school I lived in London 6 months..reflecting back.. because I was so young..The elite never shared the Lift with me...It does need more reflection as to why🧐🤔☮️
I’m always amazed at how people are touched by loss, and how words of verse or simply darkness fill our minds and hearts.
I’m sorry for your loss Greg, you obviously were fortunate to have a good, caring father!
Exquisite picture you’ve painted here!
Never underestimate the power and efficacy of ritual. The Catholic rites are probably that religion's only redeeming quality. Give me the stained glass and frankincense and processions, and ditch the sermons. The rites help connect us to the unknown, in ways that are unknown, and music is a part of this, in ways that we don't realize. You will find the rites that you need. Amen.
I am very sorry for your loss, Greg. This came at a timely time for me, on the heels of losing yet another family member, this time a cousin who was younger than me. I appreciate the thought of the flow of life into the larger lake, or stream, or river, or ocean and the music that accompanies it.
My heart felt sympathies to you and your family. We never recover from grief, we just learn to live with it. My Dad passed away in the UK during covid (not because of it) so I was unable to attend his funeral nor able to grieve with what's left of my family. It's been held in limbo ever since but I fondly remember driving my Dad crazy in the car playing much of the same music loudly on BBC radio and my mix cassettes! Great piece of writing Greg ❤
I gave up on music in 1954.
The only song i recall where there was a mechaincal instrument and a voice (a human instrument) was Ring of Fire by Johnny Cash.
i do believe that music is a good common universal communication.
Brings back memories of Diners where at the seats and tables there were small boxes you could put coins in and pick songs while eating.
Awesome! There was a music venue called My Father’s Place in Roslyn NY (Long Island) where I used to go to see new acts. I caught what was arguably The Police’s first show in the US.
Their set started with Sting cursing (cussing?) into his mic because the stage monitors weren’t working. After a short break they went back on for one of the most memorable (premier) sets I ever heard! Sting will remain as one of the most prolific and controversial musicians in popular music. Greg, Love this piece!
At first, pure enjoyment in the reading, and then, richness in the meaning. How you manage to stay so grounded in your brilliant use of language is your superpower.
So glad I found you. You help me through things. 🙏❤️
Thank you….just what I needed this morning
Radio has been a mainstay in my life since I was 10 years old. My teenage daughters will only listen to Spotify. They love to call me “old” for continuing to listen to the radio. Music for me is like time travel. When I hear certain music, it takes me back to various times in my life and the circumstances of that time. It allows me to reexamine the situations I found myself in when that song was constantly on the radio. There is really only one station I listen to - WXRT in Chicago. I discovered all the music you wrote about today by listening to WXRT. It is very prescient that you would write this today of all days. This morning one of the greatest influences of music on my life, passed away. His name is Lin Brehmer and he has had a show on WXRT, for the last 32 years. He was so much more than a radio host. He was an educator in every sense of the word, he comforted us when times were hard, he shared his life with us every day. Two of his slogans were “take nothing for granted” and “your best friend in the Whole World.” And he made us feel as if he were our best friend. Interesting how that can happen. I loved the Police when I was coming of age in the ‘80’s. But when Sting went solo, I just couldn’t connect with him anymore. It always felt like he was holding back-and I resented him for it. Then I saw him sing “Dance Me to the End of Love” in a tribute to Leonard Cohen. And that is the first time since he was with the Police that I heard him reach and exceed his potential. It came from deep inside him and I could hear it - he has a beautiful voice. Cremation is my choice when I no longer need this body I reside in. From a very young age I could not understand why people would pay thousands of dollars to put their loved one’s remains in a very expensive box and put that box in the ground. I understand the logic - it’s tradition - but it feels wrong to me. Today I will spend the day mourning my “best friend in the whole world” and will try to keep alive the light he ignited within me. Take nothing for granted - appreciate all the beauty and warts in your life.
Your Dad is with you: may his spirit continue to inspire you, Greg. You give us so much to think about! Peace be with you, friend.
Greg, your words and insight are on one hand, powerful, truthtelling & illuminating & at other times,poetic, lovely, and loving. Especially when you share poems, or music and especially given what you've shared about your dad, his relationships with his family, his passing & the impact on you. Thank you.
But it is really something many of us have in common, isn't it; that through music & a song's lyrics ( if lyrics apply) that we are brought back to specific moments in time, decades later in life, as if we are reliving it again. Music truly has the power to impact us that way. I love much of Sting's work for that reason as well; as I associate so much of it, with specific times during my life, both sad & happier times.
When my mom passed after Thanksgiving, unexpectedly; that week lying in a coma with no opportunity to say goodbye, or reconcile some old differences; it was difficult because over my sixty some odd years, our relationship had been complicated. Sadly, often more fractious, than a loving or nurturing one; though it had improved some this past year. As one ages, often you're more able to see the forces behind the scenes a bit more clearly and you want to let go & forgive. Half a lifetime ago, I'd moved over a thousand miles away & remained at that distance all those years. Shortly after her death, I had a dream of a deep, midnight blue, evening sky; so serene with pinpoints of tiny, bright, light twinkling downwards, towards me. I wondered in which point of light she might be, looking down. All I could do was write her a poem, & my cousin, who is an artist, sent me a hand-painted Christmas card; depicting the midnight blue sky I dreamed of, dotted with pinpoints of light.....except shooting up from an earthen blanket of bright, white snow, a luminous glowing fireball of light was shooting upwards towards the night sky. Like a falling star, but in reverse....and it was as perfect a goodbye as could be, and keepsake. Thank you again.
I think the way you are mourning your father is very healthy, Greg. There doesn't seem to be a bottling up of emotions, but a sharing of your feelings and thought-provoking essays for all of us to share in. I appreciate this A LOT. As I've previously mentioned, I live at my mom's house to take care of her, as she's going to be 91 this year and really can't be living alone at this point. I also have a dog who is probably about 14 years old, so as one might expect, death is on my mind a lot. My dad passed in 1997, so it's been a long time without him, and like a lot of people, I was somewhat relieved when I passed the age at which he died.
Sarge, the dog, is getting on in years, and my mom is CONSTANTLY trying to make him promise to outlive her because she doesn't know what she'd do without him around. I don't think she's kidding, although she isn't expecting the dog to answer her, so there's that. So, I am left to hope for what? That my mom passes before the dog to spare her the pain of his passing? It's a strange position to be in and I try not to think about it too much. At any rate, these columns over the past few weeks have helped me feel like I'm better prepared for whatever the future brings. Thank you so much for that.