I feel immersed in the grief created by the 21-year old white supremacist Dylann Roof who killed nine African-Americans in the Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, after sitting with them for an hour at a prayer meeting. I will not show his picture or a picture of his gun.
In this immense sadness, I wonder, “Why does it seem so difficult for people to act lovingly to one another? So many people have every advantage, every materialistic reward, the most sophisticated technology, but they still are ruled by hatred and fear of those they should recognize as brothers and sisters.”
As an antidote to hatred, I offer beauty in the shape of song. Music is love floating through the air, an aural embrace aimed right at us. I do not mean the lyrics of these songs to be particularly relevant to our grief, but I remember the sensation of everyone — musicians and audience — connected by love and hope, optimism and joy. It is the way we should be.
AZALEA, by Duke Ellington, performed by Hilary Gardner and Ehud Asherie at Mezzrow on May 18, 2015:
WRAP YOUR TROUBLES IN DREAMS, performed by Terry Blaine and Mark Shane at the Croton Free Library on May 8, 2015:
I know the four musicians in these videos would not object to my offering their performances in the name of healing.
May music — embodied love — help cleanse our hearts of anger, insecurity, and rage. Please notice I do not say “Dylann Roof’s heart,” but our hearts.
And if any of my readers find my politics deplorable, I encourage them to unsubscribe from JAZZ LIVES: there’s a place at the bottom of the post to do this. I won’t post inappropriate comments.
If the music and the sentiments move you, please share them.
Let the air be filled with something not stifled tears.
May our griefs grow lighter. May we remember how to love.