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I received some devastating news today. My brother died. He was a very talented, very kind-hearted guy. I used to tell him that he was "Sweet Uncle Huckey," because whenever his young nieces and nephews were around, he would pass out money whenever he had it. They loved him. They would all flock around him - and not just for the money! He was generous to a fault and a very sweet person.
His skill level as a carpenter and builder was off the charts. I remember when he was doing some work on a three-family that I had purchased, I brought my young son there to get some hands on training. My son wasn't interested at all and just fooled around the whole time. My brother said to him - "You could put me on a piece of dirt and I could build a house on it. What you can you do?"
My son, who was into gymnastics and sports muttered under his breath - "I can do amazing things with my body."
I laughed and took my son home. He said, "Mom, I don't want anything to do with a bucket and a handle."
I said, "This is not about a bucket and a handle son, this about hammers, drills, saws and the amazing creativity and skills that come with it. Your uncle is amazing and can teach you a lot."
Yes, my brother was amazing because our older brother made him amazing by teaching him everything he knew.
I had just talked to him two weeks ago about having him be a GC for the house that I wanted to build. He said that he wasn't in shape to do that kind of work anymore. And I told him, "No, you wouldn't do the work; you would be in charge of making sure the workers did everything right." He was down with that idea and confirmed that he could do that. It was my dream to build and have him there to make sure it was done right. Well, so much for dreams...
It's funny too because he accidentally butt-dialed me after that conversation. I picked up the phone and responded "Hi," and could hear the sounds of the pocket cloth rubbing as he walked. I should have called him back so that the phone would ring and told him that he butt-dialed me, but I didn't. Even though I talked to him recently, I wish I could talk to him again. My sweet Huckey.
This news comes just as I decided to make some changes to my own life. The Vegas journey has been coming to an end in my mind. My lease is up at the end of the year and I am planning to return home.
There are a lot of reasons for this change. After my two years of careful planning, dreaming and finally the great execution(!), I arrived in Vegas with a mission to just sing. I was going to come here to find a way to support myself using my gift. So, I've been singing on the street for tips (hahaha!)...
But singing the songs that I like everyday helped me to understand more about the songs that I actually like to sing. I love jazz. I love showtunes. I love the James Bond Goldfinger theme song. I've always loved Shirley Bassey's voice, but actually singing that song on a regular basis makes me love it more. I love that vibe. I'm totally into that slow moving, deep vibe. I just want to stand there and let these kinds of songs vibrate through me. I've got Chaka tunes, Aretha tunes, Patti tunes, Fleetwood Mac tunes... but it's the slow moving ones that truly move me. Give me the tunes I shied away from years ago when people (who obviously knew me better than I knew myself) tried to push them on me - Sarah Vaughn, Ella Fitzgerald, Dianne Schurr, a little Barbara Streisand. They've been waiting for me to be ready for them. I'm ready now.
I also feel like that music shouldn't be lost. I was graced by being touched by people years ago who fought to keep that music in the present time. Today's popular music is absolute garbage. I am constantly wondering where the real singers are and I'm so tired of hearing about money, sex, bitches, niggers and hoes. Wow. So I feel it is important that I be one of the ones that reaches back and pulls the real music forward. I proudly assume the role of "preservator" and hope to help to reverse some of the chaos brought to fore by today's empty, yet violent "music."
Maybe being older makes the difference for me. Maybe? Wisdom from age. Wisdom from experience. Wisdom.
When I was young, Chaka was my queen. I wanted to do all the upbeat dance music. I wanted to party, dance, sing and scream on stage. And, I wanted the audience to party down with me. It was great fun. But, now, standing in place and singing feels natural. The desire to jump up on the tables and to run around with a wireless microphone is gone. The old stuff is my new vibe. And it's interesting that I had to come all the way out here to discover that. But, I understand it.
I also understand the privilege of the broad depths of gifts that I've been loaned for this lifetime. My ability to write, my ability to describe, define, to motivate, to share, to understand, to sew, to love, to create, to be, to sing, to desire, to dance, etc. Such great fortune! Such privilege! I am so grateful.
Coming to Vegas has helped things that were fermenting deep in my soul to complete their ferment process. It cleared my head - my spirit. I understand Lord, I understand. I know now why I had to come clear across the country to find myself. The revelations are unending. I am ready to go home. So the planning process has begun for the continuation of my journey back on the east coast.
I still hate winter and I don't look forward to being in the cold again. But, I will rejoice when Spring comes and I get to experience everything green reawakening and rising up from the earth. That smell in the air is amazing. And, I won't complain when we have those hot, humid weeks and the sweat pours off of you just because you you're alive. Because you're alive!
Vegas gave me an idea for a film - "The Healer." I can't wait for the world (or who ever enters The Healer's world) to hear about her. The unwritten books I've been carrying around in my head for decades are talking to me all of the time. Their conversations with me have increased since I've been here. The list of songs that I need to finish sing in my head while peering at me from the wall, stuck up with a piece of tape, in clear view just above my laptop's screen. So the unfinished projects are making themselves prominently heard on a daily basis and in a more clearer and louder tone. I'm going in a whole different and exciting direction. Vegas did that for me. And now Vegas tells me to prepare myself to go home with this new knowledge, understanding and vision.
I've always known that I have a variety of creative interests and the talent to manifest them. I've always known that. But now I know differently. Now I know more. It's hard to explain. Perhaps I can try: I am a singer, songwriter, a book writer (I prefer "book writer" to author), a film maker, a bag designer, clothing designer, an actress, a painter, a photographer, a person who tries to fix everything and is often successful, a woman who can hang sheet rock, use a drill, a sawzall, a dancer, a mother, grandmother, a former wife, a sister, an aunt, a friend, a spirit, a healer, a storyteller, a creative, brilliant human being and so much more. I AM. And, I do love me some me - amazingly so.
I love my brother and am saddened by his journey into the Spirit World. But, I understand.
I need to prepare myself to go back home. I understand. The winds are changing.