One of my Facebook friends, a musician and all around raconteur who likes to toss things out there for the sake of lively conversation, recently posted a meme titled “What is the most beautiful song ever written?” People piped up with suggestions from all genres, including hard rock, blues.
Of course, I have opinions, and after much thought, I offered up “Father and Son” by Cat Stevens. I know. So very sappy. It’s a song told from the point of view of the father, and of the son. It’s short, it’s sweet, maybe it’s even cliched. But even though I first heard the song over 40 years ago, my heart still hitches a bit when I hear it, dare I say I might even get teary-eyed? Even though I’m of the female persuasion, I have been on both sides of the generational divide. I was on the son’s side way back in the day. As a daughter, a young woman, I was headstrong (with those strong opinions once again) and did things my parents did not agree with. And now I listen to the song from the other side. As a mother, and old woman, I have decades of hindsight under my belt. It’s a natural tendency to want to make things easier for your children, to protect them from the evil in the world, even though in reality you can not.
That’s the main reason why “Father and Son” is a beautiful song to me. Songs from this era pull me back into the way I felt back then. Memories rush from their dark corners and into the fore. Plus, you know… Cat Stevens. From back in the day when he was up-and-coming. What’s not to like?
A good ANYTHING (book-movie-work of art – you fill in the blank) will do that. You experience a thing of beauty that touches your heart and leaves a lasting impression, something that can be drawn up again and again.
I suppose that’s what I strive to do in all my endeavors. As a writer, I’m telling a story, but I want to make sure that within the confines of those pages, what I reveal will be the best words I can find, used in the best way I can. It’s not just beginning – middle – denouement – The End. I’m searching for more to give you. As an artist, I try to make my designs wearable and beautiful. Yes, they are part of me, but I’m looking to touch something in you, too. When I cook (another of my loves), I don’t just cook for nourishment, I want my food to be a work of art as well. I want the people who join me in eating it to feel my passion.
There are many things in the mundane world we are told to worry about, most of which are petty nuisances that don’t amount to much once you strip away the outer shiny covering. What really matters is the heart, of your family and friends, of your readers, of the world at large. What really matters is the contributions we make from one heart to another.