So the year of 2016 as we know it is over. Congratulations, you made it, bruises and all. As we wrap up the old while walking into the new, lists of "Bests of" and "Worsts of," are upon us again. Individually some of us have had a fruitful year, and others not so much. Never have I seen such a collective hatred for the year that we know as 2016. From social media to world calamities one would think that the world is indeed doomed. In fact in one memorial, the date of 11/08/2016 marked the death of the United States of America. End of days indeed.
As a teenager of the 80's, I get it. All of our pop cultural heroes have seemingly passed away, all at the same time! From Princess Leia to Prince, our vibrant youth came crashing down in 2106. We have been shown our own immortality. By the looks of social media pages we have reacted violently to our collective loses, forgetting our collective strengths. Our adolescent behaviors made a come back and we resorted to kicking and screaming at the heavens for our pain. We forgot how to mourn and heal as we held on to our anger. We used the scapegoats of politicians, immigrants, gays and friends that we disagreed ed with to vomit our unfiltered emotions. We lost our way and forgot our training as civilized beings, often hiding behind the sayings of "Keeping it real," and "Just being honest," to justify our school yard behavior. We gave up on humanity itself as be defiantly typed #fuck2016.
This past summer I had gone to a funeral. Held together by friends of a lady who had past way too young from cancer,. The warm outdoor texas venue dawned precious views and fairy lights of photographic memories. We laughed, drank and danced. Her boyfriend shared their favorite songs as a couple. One was a somber cover of David Bowie's "Lets Dance," by M. Ward. Another was the lovely lament, "My favorite Memory," by Merle Haggard. Collective pain, collective strength. We later danced into the night to the tunes of Prince and George MIchael's "Freedom 90." Strange that we celebrated the passing of a life with the music of dead and soon to be dead icons? Perhaps. Too much pain to handle? No. We cried and rejoiced. We did not take up arms or grew violent in the hazy taste of drink. These lovely people knew how to heal, together. Always together and I was so lucky to witness their beauty and strength.
So I encourage you all to find your humanity again. Look at those losses and gains as gifts of amazing joy, kindness and yes, strength. We did not fall in love with these heroes because of their lack of artistic beauty, quite the opposite. Honor their passing by living what they all taught us. And if you find the current state of the world just too much, don't sit alone in that dark space. Reach out for help. Make that a new resolution for 2017. Say to yourself when you are down and desperate, "I will call a friend, I will walk in nature, I will seek help when in need and I will be there to give when others are in need of me." Happy New Year everyone. Live a full life in 2017. Yes there will be further troubles and joys in any year we live. Don't be a hashtag of hate to them but a receptor of wisdom to share with those who need it. Our collective pain is our collective hope. See y'all down the road.
20. Goodnight My Lover - Ella Fitzgerald
19. Yeah DEF- K-DEF
18. Miss You - Trentemoller
17. I Can't Stand the Rain - Ann Peebles
16. Um Canto. De Afoxe Para O Bloco de Lle - Caetano Veloso
15. Suzanne- Leonard Cohen
14. La Es in Carnival - Celia Cruz
13. Home - Edward Sharpe
12. Stardust - Artie Shaw
11. Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain - Willie Nelson
10. My Favorite Memory - Merle Haggard
9. Me Voy Pal Puebla - Los Panchos
8. Careless Whisper - George Michael
7.. No Tengo Dinero - Juan Gabriel
6. Weird Fishes - Radiohead
5. Velha Infancia - Tribalistas
4. North - Phoenix
3. Moon age Daydream - David Bowie
2. Luckenbach, Texas - Waylon Jennings