5.21.2020 – fly above the wind

fly above the wind
fear, hope, burn and freeze like ice.
yet cannot arise

Years ago when I was working at WZZM13 TV in Grand Rapids, the decision was made that the WEB GUY should be in the newsroom where all the action was.

I was where the action was alright.

I was doing web development and design as well and content management sitting under 4 or 5 TV sets and a blaring police scanner radio.

I needed help concentrating.

Something to drown out the buzz.

I discovered online music.

Understand this was BEFORE people began uploading music to YOUTUBE.

But this was when individuals began posting their own music on their own websites.

I discovered some pretty fantastic music on the websites of college choral groups.

To this day I will search out music of this sort and recently came across the YouTube listing for the University College of Dublin Chorale but I digress.

In my searching I came across an artist by the name of Nora York.

A name just recently I learned was a take off on New York.

Her personal website had links to her music and she described the background of her songs.

A couple of songs really hit me and scored my soul.

One titled, “What I want” had the lyrics,

I want what I can’t have, need what I can’t want
Have what I don’t have, what I want
What I can’t have, need what I can’t want
Have what I don’t have, what I want
What I can’t have, need what I can’t want
Have what I don’t have, what I want
What I can’t have, need what I can’t want
Have what I don’t have, what I want
What I can’t have, need what I can’t want
Have but I don’t have

For some reason I could put this song on repeat and listen all day.

It got me through my day in the newsroom and took me to another place.

If I got tired of it, I would switch over to the song, “Another Day”.

The songs were always there online whenever I needed them.

I lost touch with the songs when I moved to Atlanta.

I would think of them from time to time and even play them.

By this time I had downloaded them so I didn’t need to back to the website.

Then I lost the files.

Just recently I thought again about those two songs.

I went searching.

I was expecting what I found.

I was saddened to find out that Nora York died of Pancreatic Cancer in 2016.

I was a little shocked to find out that her passing was recognized by an obit in the New York Times.

“Nora York, Singer Who Fused Forms, Dies at 60

The author of the obit wrote, “Ms. York sang with a supple, polished voice that was by turns mournful, yearning and powerful. She covered or adapted the work of musicians like the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Charles Mingus, Joe Simon, Stravinsky, George Gershwin and Fats Waller.”

Turns out Ms York had carved out quite a place in the New York music scene.

I wasn’t the only one but for some reason I thought I was.

I felt good that she had achieved a level of fame.

She had released four albums, none of which picked by a major label.

“Because,” Ms. York said, “no can figure out how to place my music.”

I figured it out.

Or at least I liked it.

I want what I can’t have, need what I can’t want.

Have what I don’t have, what I want.

It was, the music, what I wanted.

It was the music I did not have.

In another version of her song, “What I want” she prefaced it with a few lines from a sonnet by Thomas Wyatt, I Find No Peace written around 1540.

I find no peace, and all my war is done.
I fear and hope. I burn and freeze like ice.
I fly above the wind, yet can I not arise;
And nought I have, and all the world I season.
That loseth nor locketh holdeth me in prison
And holdeth me not—yet can I scape no wise—
Nor letteth me live nor die at my device,
And yet of death it giveth me occasion.
Without eyen I see, and without tongue I plain.
I desire to perish, and yet I ask health.
I love another, and thus I hate myself.
I feed me in sorrow and laugh in all my pain;
Likewise displeaseth me both life and death,
And my delight is causer of this strife.

Even from beyond the grave, Nora York reached out with something new to me that was 500 years old.

I it was what I wanted.

It was what I didn’t have.

Found peace.

My wars, for a time, were over.

How these things work out is beyond me.

Here is the version of What I Want that I listened to.

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