Goodbye Before Hello

April 12, 2015 in It is what it is - opinion column | Comments (0)


Of all the great jazz vocalists from the Golden Era, Sarah Vaughan always has been one of my favorites. There’s something about the way she savored every note, every lyric, sometimes stretching a phrase almost to the point of breaking and then releasing it to cascade into another.

A friend of mind once joked that in the time it took Ms. Vaughan to sing “Isn’t it a Pity”, one could make breakfast, do the dishes, run some errands and still get home in time to hear the final notes.

There’s something about that savoring, that reveling in the delicious intoxication of each moment in the song that always made me feel as though Ms. Vaughan loved each and every piece of music so much she wanted it to linger as long as possible. The other thing about this deliberate phrasing is that one gets a full sense of each song in a way that some more rapid-fire arrangements just don’t allow. Even her more up tempo sound has a steady beat, constant, present.

As I ponder something that’s been knocking about in my head for several weeks now it occurs to me that I feel that twinge one feels when something has been taken away, that even in the beginning, I already was thinking about the end; and in so doing not only perhaps accelerated (if not helped cause) something to fade away, but I also missed taking my time and reveling in every moment that was there. The time lapsed now since I lost touch with this person is far greater than the brief blink of time we were in each other’s lives. So I’ve spent quite a bit of today feeling sad, sad for the disappearance of something that said goodbye before it even really had a chance to say hello.

It’s time to shift my perspective and instead muse on the intense beauty and good things that were, and also note the places I misstepped so that should I be blessed enough to have another person like this come into my life, next time I won’t make the same mistakes.


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