Friday, April 22, 2016

Prince, Earth Day and Passover - A Very Busy Day

So much is going on today. The news wires are full of information about the life and speculation about the cause of the death of Prince. I don't think this news story will die down quickly. There is speculation of illness, a drug overdose of opiates, and other guesses, but nothing certain. The only thing that is certain is (1) we lost a paramount musician who was respected throughout the world, and (2) there will be lots of legal crap when it comes to parceling out his estate, valued at a minimum of $200,000,000. Or so "they" say. All I know is I won't be getting any of it, and I also won't be seeing stories about him appearing at various local venues to enjoy performances or take up an instrument for an impromptu concert.

The airwaves and internet are full of so many photos of Prince in
performances throughout his career, but this was as close to the
'real' Prince as we can get. This is a passport photo that he had
taken just a couple of months ago. Makeup had to be minimal in
this photo, so just a bit of eyeliner. Damn - he looked good for age 57! 

It's also Earth Day. Earth Day was first celebrated on April 22, 1970, when I was in high school - yes, that was a long time ago. At that time, for the very first celebration, many of us ditched school and walked in a large group from our building to the Convention Center in downtown Denver where there were displays, exhibits, and discussions about clean water, clean air, zero population growth, and the beginnings of the recycling movement. I remember I phoned my mom to come pick me up after I was done roaming the aisles. I was willing to walk the hour+ to get there, but didn't want to walk back home that distance plus the additional half hour to get home in the dark.

This is a vintage poster from the first Earth Day. I have
no idea what town/city this was from, but the image
of the earth wearing a gas mask is stunning in
its simplicity. 

Tonight, at sundown, is the beginning of Passover for my Jewish relatives and friends. I always loved Passover. Although we held Seder at our own home various years, it was just as common for us to go to the homes of other friends or relatives for Seder. I loved the food, the ritual rhythm of the celebration and ... did I mention the food? Total yum! It was also a great excuse for a thorough housecleaning since products containing yeast were forbidden. I remember many a college student or visiting Christian pastor being sent home with bags of cookies and bread.

The Passover Seder chronicles the flight of the Jewish people as they
escaped Egypt under the leadership of Moses. It goes through their
slavery, the plagues (including the passing over of Jewish houses when
the angel of death visited Egypt for the final plague), and chronicles
the parting of the Red Sea and the forty years of wandering in the
desert. It is one of the integral holidays of the Jewish religion and as
such, I celebrated it many times as I was growing up, even into my
early college years. 

So while people speculate about life and death today - the life of a bright talent, the deaths of firstborn children in ancient Egypt and the death of the entire planet due to poor management of our resources and our waste - look around you. Treasure what you have, tread the earth lightly, and "Let's Go Crazy!". Happy Friday to all.

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