Another year, another birthday. I’m not a “birthday” kinda guy. I don’t like the attention and would prefer that it passed quietly and unnoticed. This year I was feeling extra-curmudgeonly and spent the day avoiding most everyone, which is almost impossible, because I have the most wonderful family in the world and they know right where to find me. I usually get through the day by reflecting on the past and thinking of what I can do to improve things going forward.
Despite my shortfalls, I know that I’m truly loved by my family. I spent the afternoon examining the details of our past and how amazing it has been. I thought about my little “quirks” as I poured through a lifetime of saved pictures. My life is wonderful because my family is wonderful. Our biggest blessing? A gloriously twisted sense of humor and the ability to laugh at ourselves. When we get together, decorum, manners and sanity, all get left at the door.
After looking through the pictures, I’m left with one thought; Who AM I and what the hell have I done to the kids…🤔
Me spending some quiet time with my favorite Slippers
…and then there was that one Halloween
And that awesome sale on cold weather gear
Apparently, I’m told I know way too much about chickens…
at least I’m setting a good example for the Grandkids…
We like to pick a theme for Thanksgiving, maybe Pilgrims or …
Last Thanksgiving we all made shirts with Fruit loop patches…
and oddly, needles terrify me, seriously
I also cry like a little girl at weddings, ok, my daughter’s weddings…
My Grandmother, Sister and Nephew came over for a visit. A Christmas card in the making…
and then there was Austria. I just couldn’t get the Sound of Music out of my head
I am the luckiest guy in the world to be a part of this glorious troupe. Something strange happens to normal people when they cross our threshold. They smile and then head for the kitchen.
“This guy’s walking down the street when he falls in a hole. The walls are so steep he can’t get out.
“A doctor passes by and the guy shouts up, ‘Hey you. Can you help me out?’ The doctor writes a prescription, throws it down in the hole and moves on.
“Then a priest comes along and the guy shouts up, ‘Father, I’m down in this hole can you help me out?’ The priest writes out a prayer, throws it down in the hole and moves on
“Then a friend walks by, ‘Hey, Joe, it’s me can you help me out?’ And the friend jumps in the hole. Our guy says, ‘Are you stupid? Now we’re both down here.’ The friend says, ‘Yeah, but I’ve been down here before and I know the way out.'”
The sound of Silence, to breathe, to exhale; finally
Lost today, feared by those, who in silence, must reflect and
listen to their inner voice and flee it’s true reflection of their existence.
Silence, lost to the world as a virtue, now considered a sign of deceit or ambivalence.
Our inner voice, desperate to be heard, screams through the fog of constant noise only to be ignored; finding its only path to the human mind during restful sleep or through the silence offered by the mute button.
Silence brings peace to the soul,
the mind, the ears; to life
It’s early in the morning and I’d like to turn on the TV. Ultimately though, that would lead to the national news and their dreaded panels or the local news where I would learn whose tractor flipped over or how the local chess team did. Other than that, it’s commercials about erectile dysfunction, Flo selling insurance or someone reminding me of how I should be feeling about an issue, which is frustrating and annoying. Keeping an opinion to yourself, is apparently a “cop out” in today’s world.
I get it though, we are in trouble. As a society, we’ve actually ground to a halt; paralyzed. The media, the people, the politicians; it’s either “this way or that”. Compromising, which used to be an act of meeting in the middle, is now seen as “giving in”; failing to get your way or “selling out” your cause. We are inundated daily with opinions and being forced to choose a side; and that side had better agree with the “popular” position or you will suffer certain backlash from their group. Well today, I’ll be Nero while Rome burns. If me not engaging in this mess matters that much, then burn baby, burn, we’ll rebuild again tomorrow.
I don’t feel like turning on the TV or fighting with those who disagree with whatever position I have or don’t have and I definitely don’t care whether the chess team won or lost. Today, I don’t want to hear your opinion and tomorrow’s not looking too good either. However, erectile dysfunction is something to ponder, as I am getting older, so I might need to watch that commercial again.
No, I think I’ll just read a good book this morning and watch the sunrise. We’re still allowed to do that, right?
“There’s no time for us. There’s no place for us. What is this thing that builds our dreams, yet slips away from us? Who wants to live forever? (An excerpt of a song written by Brian May, in 1986, for the movie, Highlander). The song was destined to be performed by a musical legend, the one person who could give it the “depth” that it needed. What I believe this legend knew at the time and we didn’t, gave him the “voice and pain” to make the song his own.
His name was Farrokh Bulsara and he was born September 5th, 1946 on the East African Island of Zanzibar to parents of Parsi descent. He later moved to India where he spent his childhood learning to play the piano. In his late teens, he and his family, moved to England. There he developed a love for ballet, opera and theater, ironically, although he was a classically trained pianist, he, by his own admission, could read “very little” sheet music but he could sing and it was incredible, he had developed a singing voice capable of an amazing four octave vocal range. Music was clearly Freddie’s passion and he wanted to share it with the world, which he did in an epic way. He and three others had formed a band. To family and friends, he was Freddie or Farrokh Busara, but to the rest of the world, he was known by another name; Freddie Mercury.
Freddie Mercury, the lead singer of the rock band Queen, was world renown for his extravagant outfits, incredible stage performances, vocal skills and his lifestyle. It is estimated that Queen has performed in over 700 concerts worldwide. But this story is not about the band. This is about Freddie Mercury, the music and the way in which he faced death.
During the 1980’s, HIV/AIDS was still somewhat of a mystery waiting to be solved. An untreated patient could hope for a lifespan of 9-12 years, however many didn’t get that far. In 1986, Freddie, who was openly gay, was tested for the disease.
He told the press that he didn’t have HIV/AIDS, but many suspected that he actually did. In April of 1987, his partner, Jim Hutton, confirmed that Freddie did indeed have HIV. Fans around the world were stunned that Freddie Mercury could be so sick with this incurable disease. But, this is also not a story about HIV/AIDS.
This is a story about an incredibly gifted musician, of perseverance, the pursuit of theatrical perfection and of the consummate performer.
I suspect that by 1986, Freddie Mercury knew he was ill and that he was not naive about his mortality. Also in 1986, Brian May, lead guitarist of Queen, wrote the song, “Who Wants To Live Forever” and in 1987, it was performed perfectly by Freddie Mercury. I can only imagine the strength it must have taken for Freddie to so passionately perform a song that was an “in your face” reminder that he wasn’t going to live forever. I’m certain that in the recording studio, not a dry eye was to be found by anyone who knew him.
By 1990, Freddie was visibly ill and Brian May had written a song about Freddie and his personal struggle with the disease called “The Show Must Go On”. Freddie, again, provided the vocals. The song “Chronicles the effort of Freddie Mercury continuing to perform despite approaching the end of his life; he was dying from complications due to HIV/AIDS…”.
This is one of the last videos of Freddie Mercury before he died on November 24, 1991. Even near the end, he carried himself with dignity. I believe he was, arguably, the most versatile and talented theatrical/musical performer of the late 20th century. He was, without question, totally committed to his love of music. I find myself reflecting on his life and I can’t help but feel that he was essentially performing his own living eulogy to the world before ultimately leaving us with an enormous void, that once contained the genius that is Freddie Mercury.
This article was written using my own opinions and thoughts. The pictures were obtained from IMDB and the internet. The videos from YouTube, and some items contained within quotation marks from various internet biographies.