Tag: Life

Music, Art, Death, Familiarity and Mourning the Loss of Those We’ve Not Met

Death of Iconic Musical Artists

Within the last week we have seen the death of two well-known musical artists.

David Bowie died on January 10th, 2016 two days after his 69th birthday.

bowie

Founding member of the Eagles, Glenn Frey died January 18th, 2016 at the age of 67.

Glenn Frey After Hours Tour -  Opening Night

As I was driving to work this morning, I listened to some of Glenn Frey’s music, both with the Eagles and as a solo artist. Songs like “Take it Easy”:

I lived in Arizona for more than 20 years, and the “Standing on the corner on Winslow, Arizona” reference in this song had special meaning to me and many other Arizonans that have visited Winslow to stand on that unremarkable corner themselves.

I came across one of Frey’s solo pieces from the 80’s “Smuggler Blues”. It was from the Miami Vice era, but for some reason, I really dig the groove of the guitars in this song:

The line I love the most (for some unexplained reason) is “You be cool for twenty hours and I’ll pay twenty grand.” Fun lyrics to sing considering the dark, drug-trade topics in this song.

I underwent the same ritual last week, listening to much of David Bowie’s hit catalog. “Changes” was one of the first songs of his that I remember hearing in my youth:

Then I heard about Bowie’s new album Blackstar that was released just before his death. I sought it out on vinyl and found it at a local Austin record shop, Sound Gallery Austin. I’ll admit, many or most of Bowie’s songs can be an acquired taste. Still, I encourage you to listen to “Blackstar” and “Lazarus”. They demonstrate his musical genius.

Reconnecting Through Binge-Listening

While listening to these songs among so many of others in each of their respective catalogs, I was contemplating why I feel the need to reconnect with Bowie and Frey’s music now that I know they have died.

I’ve begun to realize, that, with streaming music so readily available on services like Spotify and Pandora, it’s incredibly easy to binge-listen to music. Music that I may not have listened to in years, decades or, quite likely, ever. Pick an artist, band, genre, whatever, and I have quick access to a curated list of greatest hits as well as those deep cuts that didn’t know existed.

I feel connected to the artist and begin to self-identify as a fan because I’ve consumed so much in a compressed space of time. Does this make me a true fan of David Bowie or Glenn Frey or [enter any name here]?  Is this why I’m diving so deep into their music when two weeks ago, they weren’t on my radar? Am I just a bandwagon fan (no pun intended)?

Is It Really This Simple?

No, I don’t think so. Music has played a large role in the daily rhythms of my entire life. I’ve often thought of the songs of various singers, songwriters and bands as the soundtrack and mile markers of my life. It’s quite likely that I’ve heard and listened to the voices of these artists more than most people I actually know.

When one of these artists die, because of the role their art played in our lives, large or small, we feel as if we knew them. This may be why so many of us go through a sense of mourning at their loss, feeling as if we’ve lost a close family member or friend. How many of you have had a conversation with someone in the last week that starts something like “Can you believe David Bowie died?” or “Did you hear about Glenn Frey?”. And in lowered voices and sadness on our faces, we share how we heard and a memory of a particular song.

In this day and age where the skill of listening and actually hearing people is practiced less and less, the power of song fills a space and need that we may be severely lacking. Music and song provide us the opportunity practicing the skills of listening with the intention of understanding.

To me, it feels like my exercise of diving into the musical history of a singer, songwriter or musician, help me understand their view of the world, and by extension, broaden my own view and understanding of the world around me.

Or maybe, I simply like the way the music makes me feel.

 

 

 

 

 

Smile - April 12, 2011

BPP-15: Bell’s Palsy and Me – Three Years Later

A quick summary.

It’s been quite some time since my last post and update about my experiences with and recovery from Bell’s Palsy. I was diagnosed on Wednesday, April 9th, 2008 with Bell’s Palsy. During my own search for information on the internet I discovered good information was difficult to find. Bell’s Palsy is not a condition most people are familiar with and

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Life is good.

Happiness is a bouncy gym.

image

Posted to Galindo.me from my Sprint HTC EVO 4G.

I'm getting bored with this blog.

My guess is that it is readily apparent I haven’t been putting a lot of effort into this site in recent months. Sure, I’ve been fiddling with this and that behind the scenes, but I haven’t really shared much. The Twitter Tools WordPress plugin has become a lazy crutch to create posts each Sunday with a digest of my tweets from the previous week. Other than that and a few random posts here and there, I haven’t really contributed much here.

If I was going to come up with some kind of excuse, it would probably be “I’ve been really busy” or something like that. In reality, I think I am just getting a little bored and haven’t felt like I’ve had all that much to talk about.

I could spend some time talking about the well of creativity running dry or the struggle to find inspiration. Not today. Life is just like this sometimes. I’ll deal with it.

An update coming soon.

I was intending to post an update earlier in the week.  However, this has been a week where wrenches of the monkey variety became lodged in the machinery of my life.

For now, I’m reminded of a quote from John Lennon:

“The more I see the less I know for sure.”

I’ll have more tonight or tomorrow morning.

Day 25, BPP-11: Lessons Learned

This was one of those weeks that had a lot going on. It was exhausting, messy, sloppy, busy, hectic, discouraging, productive, challenging, fun and inspiring all wrapped together.

Here are a couple of lessons I learned this week:

Lesson 1: Be Patient and Don’t Rush Recovery

This was a week I realized that, as amazing as our bodies are at healing themselves, recovery still takes time.

Even though externally my Bell’s Palsy isn’t as noticeable to others, the nerve functions to the BP-affected right side of my face and eyelid still have a lot of healing to do. Because of my recent improvement, I started to return to my normal work habits this week. I was running around, talking a lot and not taking the necessary time to rest.

The problem is, my right eye still doesn’t fully blink or create tears like it should. In the last couple of days, I wasn’t using the artificial tear drops as often or closing my eyes to let them rest as much. At the end of those days, I felt drained again, my right eye dry and aching, having to put my eye patch on just to let it rest.

As far as my speech goes, I thought it was completely back to normal. On Wednesday afternoon, I was conducting a brief, ten-minute training session in front of 40 or 50 people. As I was trying to project my voice, I still had those occasional “blow-out’s” with words that have hard consonants that require you to purse your lips.

I’m going to try to remind myself to take it easy. The world won’t fall apart if I stop to rest every once in awhile.

Lesson 2: Even the Small Things We Do Can Make a Difference

This week I received number of emails and comments on my blog. It’s amazing the number of people around the country and world who have recently been diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy. In many cases, they are unsure of what to expect and scared, the same as I was a few weeks ago. Often, they get little to no information, let alone reassurance, from their doctor. And I’m not blaming the doctors either. Bell’s Palsy is pretty rare, and most doctors don’t know what to do with it. Aside from prescribing medication to prevent further damage to the affected nerves, there really isn’t much they can do.

In the emails and comments I’ve received, several people have told me, that by sharing my experience, I was helping them overcome some of their fear and giving them hope for recovery. I was really touched by this.

To those of you I have never met but wished me a speedy recovery, thank you. You made a difference too.

Side-by-Side Progress Pictures #5

Pictures in the left column were taken Saturday, April 12th, 2008 (except where noted on the side profile smiling photos).

Pictures in the right column were taken this morning, Saturday, May 3rd, 2008.

Straight Face
04/12/08:
P4124333
Straight Face
05/03/08 (Today):
P5034564

More Pictures…

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