Wendy Jane’s Weekend Sounds: John Handy – If Only We Knew

4 Jan

jazz musician john handy

Jazz musician, John Handy

If only we knew…The title of this John Handy tune, and words that make me realize there is so much I don’t know.  And, I like that.  I like that every day through my connections to others, I learn about something new.  Some person, some artist, some historic event that I knew nothing about, that I now get to explore and learn and grow from.  Makes my life that much richer.

This tune I learned about from Donald King, co-owner of Fete Music  venue here in Providence, RI, and founder and Executive/Artistic Director of former Providence Black Repertory Theater.   But it’s not just this song and this musician I got introduced to.  Turns out Donald posted this song because it was the song playing when he was one day in the home of Aishah Rahman.  Donald told me that Ms. Rahman, who passed away just a week ago, was one of his favorite playwrights.  He posted on FB that “her knowledge of jazz and her ability to translate that deep knowledge into her work was evident and awe inspiring.”  He shared that he had the honor of directing Ms. Rahman’s play, The Mojo And The Sayso at The Black Rep.  When I commented on Donald’s post that this song, John Handy’s If Only We Knew, was absolutely beautiful, and thanked him for introducing me to Ms. Rahman, Donald commented back that Ms. Rahman  was “rare company, in the likes of Maya Angelou, Abby Lincoln and Gwendolyn Brooks,” and that I should read her work.

In thinking about what song I should choose for WJSS Weekend Sounds to open the New Year with, I wondered if I should select something fresh and snappy, something to get up and dance to, something funky and festive.  But when I heard this tune, which is quiet, it just felt right.  Part of that is due to my lying low while I recover from my recent surgery.  The larger part is this song is utterly beautiful.  It’s quiet spaces allow you to dream. It’s a song that when Donald heard it playing in Aishah Rahman’s home that day, said, …”talk about having your wig pushed back.”

Happy first weekend of the New Year.  Here’s to you plunging into what can be a beautiful 2015 if you want it to be.  It’s possible for all of us.  We just have to take in the beauty, and keep connecting to others, so that we can keep being led to–the next person, the next book, the next revelation, the next thing that makes you feel love, inspiration, and hope.  The thing that pushes your wig back.




photo source: www.pinterest.com, posted by Tunes & Musicians by Stacy Magic



6 Responses to “Wendy Jane’s Weekend Sounds: John Handy – If Only We Knew”

  1. Sherry Gordon January 4, 2015 at 4:33 pm #

    Dear Wendy Jane,

    Hi, there, my sisterfriend who you are so, so very much, Wendy Jane!!!!!!! Wow, what absolutely, wondrously wonderful, beautiful and lovely music which you have contributed from our John Handy!!!!!! I loved this, sister-thank-you, thank-you, thank-you-his dear and great music made me feel so serene, soulful, and very, very, very relaxed, and I found myself closing my eyes and just resting and listening to some good music, Wendy Jane!!!!!! No wonder our wonderful late and great Aishah Rahman had this classic music playing when our Donald King was visiting her! I have learned so much from you, my dearest and precious, sweet white sisterfriend!!!!!! I had not heard of our Donald King before and his former work with the Providence Black Repertory Theater as the founder and Executive/Artistic Director, and his fantastic current work with Fete Music venue. I loved learning about him, sister! I also learned from you about our dear and late great Aishah Rahman-I had somehow not heard of her before, and I will for have to read her works as well. Also, I had not heard of before our John Handy. I am definitely going to have to look more into his very fine and excellent, soulful music because I just so enjoyed his great and soothing music-it really got me feeling very serene. Thank-you, sisterfriend Wendy Jane, for this-just has made my Sunday even brighter and more full of fun and relaxation, and so very filled with blessings and very good things! My wig was for sure pushed back, sisterfriend (SMILE!!!!!!) Thank-you!

    I, too, like you truly think and believe with all that I have that my 2015, and 2015 for you, Wendy Jane, and for others as well, can indeed be possible for it to be beautiful. I have such an eternally blessed faith and positive, optimistic hope that things can and will get better despite how bad things can sometimes be with racist oppression, and the other evils which often can occur in our society. I have such faith, hope, and confidence that good is indeed possible and very workable, and I will for always no matter what have love for and confidence in beautiful inside and out children of God white persons, especially for white women who I love so, so very much and cherish as the lesbian black woman who I am, and I have full and complete confidence in white persons and the great potential for good that I think and believe with all that I have that white people have inside. I will never ever give up no matter what on white people, and I will never ever give up on the ever present hope that I have that our common beloved human family and community can and will indeed heal, learn, and grow together in our shared humanity. The incredibly and amazingly magnificent, wondrously wonderful white woman who you are so, so very much, Wendy Jane, as my sisterfriend just helps me so much to keep on keeping on, and never ever giving up no matter what, and despite what oppressions, discrimination, and racism I face, and only sometimes continue to face and endure, as the lesbian black woman who I am. Thank-you for being my dearest and precious, sweet white sister, and my friend, my white ally and anti-racist in your great allyship in solidarity, sisterfriend!!!!!!

    Now my Sunday is even greater and more serene and blessed thanks to you and your very marvelous blog post article, and some very cool and so pleasant music! Happy Sunday to you, my sister, and I am so, so glad that you are recuperating so well from your recent surgery, and that you are getting your rest! May you have a very nice, special, and a very blessed week ahead, Wendy Jane! And a Very Happy Blessed 2015 New Year to you and for always, my precious and dearest sisterfriend who you are so, so very much, Wendy Jane!!!!!!

    Very Warmly and Sincerely For Always, my sister, and Blessings and Even More Blessings To You For Always, my sisterfriend, Wendy Jane,

    For always your lesbian black sisterfriend in solidarity, Sherry Gordon

    • Wendy Jane January 4, 2015 at 6:11 pm #

      Hi Sherry,

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the John Handy tune, and like me, learning about him and Aishah Rahman. I’m also glad that you, too, have hope that thing can get better even with all the terrible examples we’ve witnessed this year of racial oppression, and inequities. I am glad that you will never give up on us white people, because there sure are times we need to wake up, and stand up, and not be part of the problem, but part of the solution for making things better.

      In solidarity,
      Wendy Jane

      • Donald King January 4, 2015 at 11:07 pm #

        Thank you Wendy! i am honored & I look forward to our continued musical, cultural & spiritual exchanges! Happiest of New Years to you & all of you beloved relations! Ache!

        • Wendy Jane January 4, 2015 at 11:16 pm #

          Thank you for taking the time to read the piece, and of course, for inspiring it in the first place. I look forward to that continued exchange–like I said–makes my life that much richer. Happy New Years to you and yours, too.

  2. karen kidd January 5, 2015 at 1:24 am #

    Your music choices are always awesome, Wendy. Love this.

    • Wendy Jane January 5, 2015 at 11:09 am #

      Thanks, Karen. They do mostly come from friends like this week’s post. Very inspiring for me to hear new things through others.

      Wendy Jane

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