Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Stevie Wonder & My Summer Of '96

                    Today a very interesting reflection popped into my head. Used to think about it quite a lot . It all happened sixteen years ago when I was...16. And despite the cliche' of that time it was actually a very hopeful and productive time in my life. My final days of public school were full of much unpleasantness  and confusion. Can't deny that. But several years later I was high school age,had been home schooled during this time and was on a journey to discover music in a way I never had before. Part of that journey led me to Stevie Wonder. In fact during the mid 1990's I generally attired myself in a manner...not dissimilar to the way Stevie is in this photograph pictured here.  The more I delved into this mans music,the more it became clear that the visions in the mind,the only visions Wonder himself was physically capable of perceiving,were more key to any creative ventures than I thought. There were a lot of great things happening. I began writing an idea for a television series and conceived of a...sort of fictive record label along the way of this particular journey in life. Than I fell in love.
                 This was a love that came out of a creative endeavor. It was the same person who was helping me not only with my TV script but also was planning on being involved in my record label. I even wrote a song for him called "I'm In Your Arms Tonight",a lyric definitely written with Stevie Wonder in mind. One night I was called home from visiting this friends home to learn that a mutual friend had called my parents to tell them my new friend had schizophrenia and multiple personality disorder. I was shocked and very frightened. It was as if he'd become a stranger. Good thing I had just gotten a CD of Stevie's 'Talking Book' around this time. Even though Wonder was talking about the dissolving of his marriage to Syreeta Wright,also his creative partner I saw many parallels. In particular in a song called "Looking For Another Pure Love". Because my friend didn't want his mental illness to be known,and furthermore was even less happy about my homosexuality he made the choice to dissolve our friendship by making a pass at a member of my family.

               As Stevie said in that aforementioned song this person had become the "problem in my life" where I had very few of them in the outset upon meeting him.  It was one thing to have average youth angst over growing pains. But to have to deal with a very adult concern before your emotionally prepared? Well again Stevie said it best in the same same; "things you cherish most in your life can be taken if they're left neglected". In his case his internal perceptions gave him his own unique outlook on romance. It's also how he was able to create his own unique musical sounds to match the emotions he experienced. Because I didn't possess his musical talent,the only way I had to reflect on this was to spend a lot of time alone listening to Stevie's journey from dispair back to happiness again. I knew that was a time of reveling in angst as if it was somehow tangible. All I wanted was to get beyond those feelings and start again. I don't know even all these years later if I've gotten there. But it's a road still worth travelling. And I still have the music of Stevie Wonder for all the points along the way.

Listen to Stevie Wonder's 'Looking For Another Pure Love' here:

No comments:

Post a Comment