Every now and then, music and life collide in the most jarring and impactful way. As an intro, today’s album is “Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme” by Simon and Garfunkel. Their third studio release, it is a monumental step forward from their last album, and reflects much more of their creative influence and control over their sound. In addition to the pseudo-title track “Scarborough Fair / Canticle”, which is amazing, this album features “Homeward Bound” and “The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy)”. This is a great album… yet none of that really matters right now.
Today at least six people, as far as I know now, were needlessly murdered by yet another incidence of gun violence. It happened in my home state, in a grocery store chain I once worked in for multiple years. As I was trying to wrap my head around yet another instance of this, and wondering to myself if all of my friends from that town were safe and free from harm, the song “7 O’clock News / Silent Night” came on the car stereo. If I have ever heard this piece before, I don’t recall it, and I can’t imagine ever forgetting this now, as this moment will stay with me forever. I don’t want to give it all away, I would much prefer if you take two very important minutes out of your day to listen to this song… particularly this day. All I can say is that it is one of the most, if not the most, powerful combinations of pure beauty and the absolute horrors of the modern world that somehow continue to coexist, even to this day.
For many reasons, today started for me as a day of happiness and celebration. As this song so vividly reminds us, peace and harmony can be shattered in an instant by the cruelty and evil intertwined within the world we all live. I can’t truly describe my feeling as I realized where this song was going and what it was asking me to see, hear and feel, but it could not have possibly come at a more profound and appropriate time. I will be forever indebted to Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel for forcing this upon me when I needed it most, to remember once again what is ultimately most precious and essential in this life.
I’m grateful for all that I have in this world, and the people I love who share it with me and make every day better, just as I dearly miss those who are no longer here with me to share in this experience. Music is an integral and fundamental element of my daily life, and I’m thankful for that, no matter what feelings and emotions may emerge from those sounds. I’m stunned and heartbroken to see more innocent lives taken from us unnecessarily. That’s all that matters today… that, and figuring what more we can do to tangibly reduce our exposure to this catastrophic horror ever again.