This post may read like a review of a marvelous film documentary…It is! It is also so much more.
At the recommendation of my great friend, FunkyLB, I sat to watch the film documentary Still Bill, featuring the great singer and songwriter Bill Withers. I knew it would be first-rate because FunkyLB is a self-taught, awesome musician herself; knows great music; and, loves a wonderful story. Her film and music recommendations are always spot on! Plus, I was already familiar with some of Bill’s more popular songs. I very quickly grew captivated with the story of Bill’s upbringing, and how he fell into music and how music found him. I became engrossed in his musings on life’s nuances and instructions, as well as his own vulnerabilities and introspection. I learned of Bill’s love of family – his wife, and son and daughter – and his insistence on simple living. I remain intrigued by, but deeply understand, his walking away from the music industry altogether when he could no longer make music on his own terms; choosing instead to be hands-on as a husband and parent, while still writing music, alone and with his daughter Kori, a musician and songwriter in her own right.
I found Bill beautifully human and whole, as he reflected on his childhood, and his contentions with the music industry, and with life, in general. As one who overcame chronic stuttering, Bill placed a premium on the solace that he found as a songwriter. He reflected on the stern and steady rhythm of his Grandma’s Hands, a woman who perhaps had the most profound impact on shaping his perspectives about life and love. I was delighted to “meet” the man behind the music, who so eloquently and poetically sang about love in “Just the Two of Us”. I recalled my own first impressions upon hearing that song as a young girl growing up on the island of Antigua. Of course, I knew nothing about that kind of love then, but it sure sounded beautiful. As an adult, before I found love and love found me, I would still get all dreamy-eyed as I fantasized about one day having a love like that! Naturally, I was filled with nostalgia when I again heard the words:
“I see the crystal raindrops fall
And the beauty of it all
Is when the sun comes shining through
To make those rainbows in my mind
When I think of you sometime
And I want to spend some time with you”
As I became wrapped up in his story, and listened to the words over the narrator’s voice, I asked myself whether this kind of love, so aptly and poetically penned over thirty years ago, really exists. I looked over at my husband on the sofa, and from where I sat, I felt something magical. I was having a full-circle moment to that nine-year old girl who wondered what that kind of love was all about.
“Just the two of us
We can make it if we try
Just the two of us
Just the two of us
Building castles in the sky
Just the two of us
You and I”
I was experiencing the “Just the Two of Us” kind of love that I fantasized about long before actually finding it. It was just the two of us, sometimes seemingly against the world, navigating life’s sea of changes, curveballs, and commitments. Lord knows that ain’t easy, but we manage to still be beautifully in love. Our eyes met for a moment, and affirmed what I was feeling inside. The connection needed no words. We were quietly reflecting on the gift that Life has given us…Love, itself.
“We look for love, no time for tears
Wasted waters’ all that is
And it don’t make no flowers grow
Good things might come to those who wait
Not to those who wait too late
We got to go for all we know”
So you heard it here…the man you need to get to know this summer is… Still…Bill!
- What A Girl Wants! (somerempress.wordpress.com)