Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwoʻole - "Somewhere Over The Rainbow/What a Wonderful World"
This song came on the radio today, as I was driving home, and although I started blubbering like a baby while I was at a red light on Fountain and Fairfax, I also knew Matt was there beside me, laughing and crying along.
When Matt was little his Mom, Hilda, would sing to him, “What a Wonderful World,“ by Louis Armstrong. Two years ago he asked his Dad for as much of his Mom’s handwriting samples as his father could find for him. He took her handwriting and then, with Photoshop, re-created some of the lyrics of the song with her own handwriting. To remind him daily how beautiful life is.
So, as I walked through my city last night the air was cool and chilly as if other people were solemn too and you could almost feel the pulse of other broken hearts all around. It was a somber evening walk. However as I continued to down the street, I realized that there were gentle breezes coming down off the mountains, that children and athletes were still playing games and laughing, and that if I just looked a little deeper than the surface things were still beautiful; lights strung up in courtyards glittered like stars, the moon was heavy and silver in the sky, a woman was singing in her shower and giving that music to her neighbors and bystanders like myself.
Life is still beautiful, and we should still be grateful. There is a lot of emotional upheaval in my world right now but there is also the constant knowledge that the earth was here long before myself and it will continue to be here long after. Mother Nature’s world is all around us, in the plants, in the ocean tides, in the breeze off the mountain, and there is beauty to be found if we only step outside our own little pain body and see these minor miracles for what they are.
So rather than sit in the echo chamber of social media, in a revolving door of pain or sadness, I say to my grieving friends: go for a walk, shut off the computer for a few hours, put down all your screens and find the magic of this land ... the REAL magic of this land in every aspect of it, just the way Matt did. Find the night sky, or the sunlight on a lake, and remember that we are lucky to be where we are, who we are, and when we are, and to have known bright souls like Matthew Palazzolo before he went ahead.
So today, even through the grief, I choose Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwoʻole's "Somewhere Over The Rainbow/What a Wonderful World" as my, look to the stars, look to the flowers, look to the hearts of those you love, song for a, walk with kindness, open every door, authentic in every step, Tuesday, because it is STILL a wonderful world.
I will see them bloom for me and for you Mashugenah, I promise to keep watching.