|April and May||6/23/2020
|I’m definitely behind on my diary. The last two months have been filled with much of the same Covid 19 activities: working from home, working out at home and spending almost all of my time at home. If I venture out for an errand to the grocery store or drugstore, I always wear a mask. Not everyone does, which puzzles me, but what can I do?
Although states and countries around the world are slowly opening up: gyms, beaches, restaurants, schools… there are many, especially the 70+, who prefer to adhere to the stay at home regulations. I don’t fall into that age category, but I am still cautious about where I go and how often I go out.
A positive aspect of this pandemic has been my Zoom calls with family around the world, Zoom birthday celebrations and Zoom class reunion parties. It’s the next best thing, since we can’t be with each other physically.
Friday May 22 was the date of an exceptional “outing” : that’s when I joined Jim Brickman for an hour-long livestream concert. It was just the two of us, performing from his studio in downtown Cleveland. We were a total of five in the room; Jim and me, producer Bob, who fielded requests, and staff members, Megan and Kashia. And requests poured in from all over the world, with some choices taking us by surprise. We sang many of Jim’s hits of course: “Peace”, “Simple Things”, “The Gift”, “Your Love”, “Never Alone”,”After All These Years”, but also “Wishing Well”, written by Jim and me live on one of his famous cruises. I was also touched by a request for my own “I Wish I Could”, from my "Lucky Girl" CD, which we dedicated to all the graduates who would be experiencing a dematerialized ceremony this year.
We distanced accordingly and had fun sharing our music with the thousands who tuned in. Jim broadcasts these livestreams every Friday night on his Facebook Music Page. He is one hard-working individual!
As I mentioned in my last entry, I have recorded and continue to record little song snippets and miniature one-way-conversations, based on how I’m feeling or what might be happening in the world. I then post them on my Facebook Music Page, Instagram and Twitter pages. I love discovering your “likes” and comments and hope they have brought a little light in your lives since March 17th.
We still don’t know what will be the future of live concerts, in the next few months. Of course we are hoping that we will be able to perform and enjoy your wonderful energy and support--in person--very soon. As soon as it’s safe for all concerned, that is.
As if the Covid numbers weren’t distressing enough, the end of May was darkened by the senseless death of George Floyd, in Minneapolis,MN, dealt by a policeman who knelt on his neck as he pleaded “I can’t breathe” for nearly nine interminable minutes. His agony, caught on camera and viewed by millions, sent shockwaves around the world. All for a phony $20 bill. This incident ignited protests, both peaceful and destructive, stigmatizing the unjustified police brutality that is directed toward blacks, time and time again.
We elected a black president to office and the world believed we had put racism behind us.
And yet here we are back at square one.
You know, I grew up in Shaker Heights, OH, one of the first integrated communities (60 years ago) in the United States. I was taught that all men and women are created equal. And children are not born racist! I went to elementary school with black children, I attended Shaker Heights High School, where black classmates were bused in from the city of Cleveland. “Ebony and ivory” studying, playing sports, going to dances, just being kids together…
I worked with black musicians throughout my college years, and I have been hugely influenced by great artists such as Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight, Martha Reeves and countless others. And I continue to work with many talented black musicians today.
I have black friends, and friends of many origins: isn’t that what the melting pot that is America is all about: waves of immigrants who become new citizens, people who add their hopes and dreams to the pot?
We’re all just human beings. And humans beings come in different shapes and sizes and colors. Why can’t we just get along? Why can’t we nourish the talents and dreams of all our youth and ensure them an equal chance to rise above the color divide?
I will continue posting my thoughts from time to time and hopefully, in my own small way, continue to promote equality. Let’s all join forces to heal the divide!
Starting with a safe, healthy, constructive summer for all!