…and I got a new motorcycle.

The world keeps on spinning. Prince passed away and I was reminded of how much of an impact Purple Rain had on me when I was in high school. Living where I did and having the limited musical exposure I did, Prince was something from another universe (wasn’t he always?). ¬†We didn’t have MTV at first, there were few radio stations (classic rock and top 40 as I remember), and this was the time before internet. So much has changed with the internet – even the way we find out about the deaths of famous people.

When I went out Thursday to ride my motorcycle, it was a beautiful day. Out in the woods, I rode over dirt trails and crossed a stream with no bridge. Every so often I’d stop to send a text to my husband to let him know all was okay. After all, I’m out in the woods on trails where I could (and did) fall down. Just letting him know what was up, that I’d fallen and gotten up (and gotten my 400 plus pound bike up as well). It’s part of the deal with trail riding out here, especially when you’re a novice at it (the trail part, at least). Part of learning.

But when I came home, the spouse told me the news. I thought he was joking. Told him to check and make sure it was true. It had been true, for a couple of hours, and I hadn’t known. He could have told me while I was out, but he waited. Motorcycle riding is not something you want to do when you’re distracted or upset – there’s just too much to watch and do to keep yourself safe.

Prince was someone who made an impression on me when I was very young and didn’t have the musical knowledge to appreciate what he was doing. The musical history that came before him (funk and soul specifically) were mostly unknown to me, so all of it was new, without context or reference points. I did know some about rock music, so his guitar playing and virtuosity was obvious. I loved that music, and it was so evocative for me. Now that I’m so much older and know a lot more about music (but never enough), I have a better appreciation for what I truly believe was his musical genius.

I hadn’t been up on his music in a while, but I knew he was still producing so much music, music that hasn’t even been heard by anyone but him and the people who helped him make it. Maybe this will be the time for me to start learning more about who he became musically while I wasn’t paying attention. It’s certainly time for me to connect with all the music I knew back then.

Life is short and you never know what’s going to happen. Best to do and be and listen and love while you can, every day. Be in the moment and pay attention. This applies to the single track in the woods on the back of a motorcycle or listening to music or being with someone you love.

Be in the moment and pay attention.

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