Just the Two of Us

     I can still remember the day Grover Washington, Jr's Winelight album arrived at the house.  My parents still live in that house in the Forest Hills district just north of Grand Rapids, Michigan where I spent half of my junior and all of my senior year in high school.  I think it's fair to say I had no idea back then who Bill Withers even was, though I'm sure I knew the song "Use Me Up."  I don't really consider this crossover to be pop, and I've always loved the collaborations between jazz and other modes you find in artists like Camel, Yes, Supertramp and even early Doobie Brothers.
We really looked like this?

     Music plays an integral role in my life no matter where I am and what I'm going through.  It is part of the exploration into the arts that broadens my perspective and at times grounds me in peace and hope when darkness looms just as photography, sculpture, painting, dance and theater do.   Yet while you'll find three songs below that mean a great deal to me, it's not about the music.  My wife Kristen and I are celebrating 25 years of marriage this year encompassed by all of the exquisite joys and devastating conflicts that occur in relationships.  I've written before (here I believe in my graying cognition) about divorced friends who asked why in times of difficulty I was still married.

     Neither the Bible, Koran, Vedas, Declaration of Independence, or Constitution promise anyone happiness.  Happiness is a choice.  Far too often we fall in love and get married because right now they're amazing, wonderful individuals and we're infatuated.  I think in general that lasts for maybe a year.  Depending on the journey, kids come along, careers, income, houses, commitments to work, friends and family all take tolls and pull us in multiple directions.  We become unhappy because the person we courted, dated, and married isn't who we thought they were.  Then again, hopefully neither are we.

     I can still remember the day and picture the moments throughout the ceremony when I promised to love my wife till "death do us part, for better or worse in sickness and health".  Period.  And as long is the spouse isn't physically abusive or something else similar that can not be overcome where I would advise others to RUN away, it is the foundation of the integrity that flows through everything else we do.  So whenever I feel that our relationship is struggling, which most often would be my fault for working too much and needing to serve the greater good beyond self interests, I pull these three songs out in particular.  Jobs, homes, and even children are temporary because they grow up to pursue their own dreams and goals.  Commitment to a significant other.  That's something worth celebrating.  JUST the two of us.

    For the life of me I can't figure out how folks who don't the rights to the material can benefit from ads running in their uploads on YouTube.   Google won't let me do that.

  "And when I'm down and feeling blue, then all I do is look at you and all my foolish problems seem to fade away."

     Ok I lied because I'm not going back up to edit.  It's four songs.  "Love.  We were meant for each other. We will HELP one another.  And it won't really matter at all, who we are."  Camel from the I can see your house from here" release.  There is very little in life that brings more satisfaction than honoring one's commitments in serving others.  Particularly those we committed to serve for the rest of our lives.  And I don't care what color, creed, religion, culture or sex your partners are because that's your commitment.  I made mine 25 years ago.

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