Sunday, October 27, 2013

That Great Day

As I sat there on Saturday night, October 26, 2013 in a darkened L.A. theater watching my favorite blues/gospel artist perform, I thought of last year on the exact same date as I watched the exact same artist, Jonny Lang, but in a much different state of mind.

October 26, 2012....I was soothed by his presence and energy and the ethereal quality of his music but a deep and foreboding sense of dread encompassed me because I knew what was going on with my mother could end in her passing.....and it did.....the next day.

It might seem strange that I would have been at a concert on that night last year but as I couldn't be back in Minnesota and would just go crazy worrying at home, my husband encouraged us to go. Seeing Jonny is like going to church it is that affecting. I wrote about it last year in a blog about how his music soothed me. That night when the song "That Great Day" filled the room it was the passion and depth in which he conveyed its message that right then I decided would be a beautiful song for a memorial service, and it was, a week later.

Jonny Lang....ASCAP Festival 2012
Hearing it again last night from him and his band effected me in a different way than a year ago. I just sat there with my eyes closed appreciating the lessening of the grief now 365 days later of what  had consumed me in various ways this past year, rising and withdrawing in waves at unpredictable times. Most reading this know exactly what I mean. (If you are one of the minority who have not yet experienced the finality of loss of a close loved one, for that be grateful!)

For those of you who very recently have, I can speak from at least my experience that it does get better. Less profound and further away and some of the good memories start coming in and can make you smile instead of just tear up. The lesson I take from the passing of time of losing a loved one is the gift of knowing that the absence of intense grief is something to be thankful for.

One of the main reasons I starting writing about creatives artists and my own experiences is because of my passion and belief that those with the desire to share what they create should be encouraged to do so. Imagine the music, writing, and art of so many gifted people that would never have been put out there to be experienced if someone hadn't encouraged them, or they hadn't the confidence or courage to pursue it themselves.

As a wise person once said, we are spiritual beings inside human bodies. Our heart, mind, and soul need nourishment as much as our bodies. People like Jonny Lang give it. They share the gifts they were given and work very hard to grow and evolve as people and as artists.

Here is the song that touched me so much my family included it in my mother Mary's service. I'm sure it has done the same for many. I chose this YouTube version a fan recorded in 2011 because it best captures the essence.

"I wrote this song so quickly one night as I was falling asleep that I'm sure it did not come from me."  -Jonny Lang

YouTube Link posted by Ric McMiliian...

"That Great Day".....Live acoustic version.....Jonny Lang 

"Wander Jonny's World"......Hollywood Underdog 2012

Jonny Lang....originally from Fargo, ND, at 32 he is a father of four with wife Haylie. Already a 20 year veteran of the music industry since 1994 he has been showing the world that some Midwesterners got soul.

Photo....Jonny Lang....ASCAP Music Festival courtesy of

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