Why don’t you stop, drop, (ROCK STEADY), and roll, and listen to everything that Aretha Franklin has ever done? I don’t recall the chain of links (see what I did there? You will if you follow my advice.) I clicked to get there, but one night I found myself with a tear streaming down my cheek watching Aretha Franklin deliver “Nessun Dorma” live at the Grammy’s ages ago. (I’ve been going through a secret opera phase, please don’t tell anybody, its embarrassing.) It was transcendent, let’s watch:
Ever since that night, I’ve been listening to every album she ever released, in order, three times. It’s not hyperbole to say that I’ve never had more fun doing a deep dive into a musical artist. Everybody knows Aretha Franklin. She’s like Elvis or Cher and Michael Jackson. We hear Aretha all the time, but my god there was more to that woman than “Respect.” Never before this month have I ever heard “Hooked on Your Love” and I feel absolutely robbed that I’ve lost three decades of my life without it. I think…yes it’s my favorite song. You have to hear it:
Trite though it is, I feel blessed to have found Aretha. I’ll leave you with what has been happily stuck in my head ever since I said, “Hey Siri, play me some Aretha Franklin…”
Why don’t you let people talk to you about their passions? This can start the most unexpected and stimulating conversation. I’m having solar panels installed at my home, and in the process, I was introduced to a young man who has a passion for fixing cars. This is NOT something that I’m interested in. He mentioned a model of a car that I, oddly enough, have an older style of. I showed it to him, and he was like a child in a candy store, he was like me in an Egyptian exhibit, he was fully alive. Absolutely giddy. Before listening to him, I never knew how interesting cars could be or what kind of emotional power they might possess. Let me assure you reader, when I decided to go solar, I did not anticipate being drenched in sweat in a filthy old barn, on the verge of tears, listening to the story of a crippled man nearly finding the power to get up from his wheelchair when he heard the engine of his beloved, ruined car start up. It’s been the most interesting week I’ve had in a long time.
Why don’t you grow berries? I planted a golden raspberry plant and some strawberries from France, and I can’t tell you how nice it is to go pluck a handful of delicious treats from the yard every morning. I’ve never really liked strawberries, but one that is perfectly ripe and warm from the sun is an extraordinary experience. It’s incredible that we accept fruits and vegetables with horrid textures that taste like nothing for the convenience of getting them at a store. Store bought produce is so boring after realizing what they’re really supposed to taste like. Get planting, reader. I need to add more varieties; I’m obsessed!
Why don’t you get stuck in a Wikipedia loop? I can’t recall how I got there, but I’ve been devouring information every night and being thrilled by connections I never knew about. I’ve learned about philosophers and composers and the way certain motors operate. I know more about subatomic particles than I ever dreamed I’d find necessary. I drink it all up and then find a new obscure connection that thrills me. My current obsession is LGBT individuals in the early days of Egyptian archaeology. I was absolutely unaware that so many of these people existed, which goes to show how paternalistic this field of study is, even for people fully saturated in that world. I’m appalled that so many people like me were forgotten. I feel like I’ve found an entire new world that is ripe for my investigations, and that fills me with bliss.
Why don’t you go to Turin? I know I have to have mentioned it before, but I’m betting fiercely that the next Eurovision competition will take place in Turin. I could not be more ecstatic. Though I often say I have a favorite place, I have several places that I deeply and spiritually resonate with. Paris, Luxor, Mexico City, and Turin. They complete me psychically somehow. Anyway, I recently read that Nietzsche had a mental collapse in Turin. I once, too, had a mental collapse just blocks from where he went wild. He also made a goat path famous in the tiny village of Eze in the south of France. I climbed that path in my youth. I’m not the reincarnation of Nietzsche, thank god, but at least we appreciated the same bits of the world in the same way…and I find that really rather odd. That’s all aside from the point, more of an autobiographical saunter…get to Turin for Eurovision! Turin is wonderful. It’s beautiful and mysterious. It’s one of the best places in the world. There’s a shop that sells double fried Belgian fries with a sauce made of harissa and cannabis leaves. It’s curiously delicious. And so weird. Turin is also, I have to repeat, the strangest place I’ve ever been.