Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Just one of those days

Looking west across the Jacqueline Onassis Reservoir from the Bridle Path in Central Park.
10:00 PM. Photo: JH.
Wednesday, July 12, 2017. Very warm here in New York yesterday. Overcast threatening rain but no-show; in the mid-80s with a Real Feel in the mid-90s. July. One of those days where I’m glad I bought an air conditioner.

Monday I had lunch at Michael’s with Judy Collins. We’d scheduled this a couple of months ago when her latest book, a memoir of her personal issues called “Cravings; How I Conquered Food.”

Top: A young Judy Collins on piano
Judy's latest book, Cravings.
Click to order.
I met Judy a number of years ago here in New York through mutual friends. However, I’ve been a big fan of hers almost as long as she’s been recording. I love her voice. Its angelic quality, and its gentleness has great power. She’s one of those performers who lends herself so totally to her work that you believe whatever she expresses is a reflection of how she feels personally.

We’ve seen each other in passing ever since that first meeting, but never had a sit-down conversation. Monday was the first time. We talked — about her, her life, and about myself. Because it was an interview, ostensibly about “Cravings,” and so unlike an ordinary conversation, I had find something personal to tell you what she was/is like.

The funny thing is, off-stage, off-camera, off mike, she’s just like the person you watch and listen to performing. That empathic quality that she personifies is who you meet. As an artist, however, she’s a complete pro — writer, novelist, songwriter, musician, performer. Always working; there’s no retirement in the girl’s future. That kind of dedication is the ultimate definition of “ambition.”

Reading “Cravings,” I was amazed to learn that she is saddled with all kinds of obsessive, compulsive issues  — private thoughts shouting doubt, fear, anxiety, depression, worry; you name it. Yet she keeps working and achieving so much continuously. Alcoholic too, she’s been sober since 1978. She told me she once made a primitive attempt (wouldn’t have worked anyway) at suicide when she was fourteen. Her mother’s reaction to it (she loves her mother incidentally) was something along the lines of “you’ll do anything to get attention.”

Mothers know best when it comes to her kid’s personality. We laughed about it because it was the kind of thing my mother would have said to me under such circumstances (I never “tried” however).
Judy Collins with Stephen Stills in 1968. Photo: Rowland Scherman
At table, in conversation, it was like lunching with an old friend; relaxed, amusing, and informative. She has that same gentleness that you hear in her recordings. Until now I hadn’t realized the depth and breadth and the consistency of her work and her creative pursuits. She’s basically a woman who WORKS. I was reminded of Debbie Reynolds who had the same kind of fortitude and commitment.
Stephen Stills and   Sweet Judy Blue Eyes 49 years later.
Forty years after making her first recording, Judy Collins is still busy making personal appearances as well as writing. This month, on July 26th  in Highland Park, Illinois, she and Stephen Stills are launching a concert tour together, appearing in 45 cities and locations through October. She and Stills had a romance years ago which although short lived left them with a lifelong friendship. It was Judy’s idea that they team up. They’ve already made a CD of the program, “Everybody Knows” which will be released on September 22nd.
I have a friend who often sends me emails that are designed to amuse. They often contain a joke or a truism that hits a common place in all of us. Honestly, I often don't look at them for one simple reason or another (too many emails!) But on Monday I received one that for some reason I looked. And I was glad I did, so I share it with you ...
TEN (10) THINGS I KNOW ABOUT YOU

1) You are reading this.
2) You are human.
3) You can't say the letter ''P'' without separating your lips.
4) You just attempted to do it.
6) You are laughing at yourself.
7) You have a smile on your face and you skipped No. 5.
8) You just checked to see if there is a No. 5.
9) You laugh at this because you are a fun loving person & everyone does it too.
10) You are probably going to send this to see who else falls for it. You have received this e-mail because I didn't want to be alone in the idiot category.

Have a great Day. Laugh, and then laugh and sing 'It's a Beautiful Morning' even when it's not.

"Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many."
Then, aside from emails, a website that I read often, Naked Capitalism, always has some video or photo related to the wild — animals and birds. This one about a Moose was very moving, in many ways, on many levels, and speaks of the purest part of all of us in the animal kingdom.
 

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