Music Monday – Howler, Florida and some sadness

seaWhere have I been people? I’ve been in Florida visiting my parents with the kids. I got to see Maestro de Bife before he goes to Australia for a year and got to meet his very sweet, very cool lady love. An extremely enthusiastic thumbs up from the peanut gallery on her! We had warm days and cool days, but the sun was always out and we got our injection of family and Vitamin D. Despite the long walks, the great meals, the beach with its constant source of peace and treasures, it was an odd week for me.

My heart kept flying back to Minneapolis. I would be squinting up into palm fronds dancing beneath a blazing blue sky, but my thoughts were with the people in the dark and muddy north. For starters, Dash and Foxy were at home, so there was that feeling of being slightly off kilter that comes from the family not being whole. Then there was the fact that Lady Tabouli and Lady Doctor Poodle’s mom died in the wee hours of the new year after a very long, hard battle with ovarian cancer. As I got to enjoy my mother, bustling around, doing the things she does, I wondered about my girls and how they were faring in Chicago at the end, but in some ways at the beginning, of a very hard journey. On top of that, I heard of Jack Jablonski’s spinal cord injury almost immediately after it happened through the Carondelet grapevine. A sophomore in high school, an alum of our little grade school, he was horrifically injured during a hockey game and will likely never walk again. It seems he may not even have use of his arms. It is heart breaking. It is a tragedy. There aren’t words for this. Again, thoughts of Jack’s parents, their utter agony, kept my thoughts pinned to Minneapolis. I still cannot stop thinking about this boy.

So for this belated Music Monday, a little something from home, from the place that preoccupied my mind when I was far away. Howler is a young band from the hood whom I had heard on the radio but was hugely surprised to see featured on Rolling Stone’s website. Go little dudes! They are darling and, in my opinion, quite good. A couple days before we went to Florida we had a small dance party with some families and after the tornado of goodness had passed, Saint James and I were lolling on the couch thinking about all the songs we wished we had played. It was late, we were tired, but there we lingered, luxuriating in the glow of the Christmas lights and the silently spinning disco ball. Can you find that song by those kids from our neighborhood? he asked, apropos of nothing. Ah, he had heard rumors. I grabbed the laptop and we watched it together, his head on my shoulder – a perfect ending to a perfect night.

Here’s a small reminder that at any one time, in any one place, there are myriad stories unfurling: endings, beginnings, heart break, triumphs and everything in between; a reminder that, for better or worse, the world just keeps on spinning. Enjoy. (And notice the basement of Java Jacks.)

It feels specious to say Happy New Year. But, what else is there left to say?

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