Extent of Your Touch

The Extent of Your Touch ...

It is like the sea - music.  It can set the mood, change a mood, carry us places we barely recall, crash into islands unfamiliar, heal wounds. It has done all of these and more for me.  I cherish music.  It is always playing around me or in me.   I wrote of three artists in my memoir NAKED.  These musicians soothed me with their lyrics, their notes, their artistry, their beauty.

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Chris Botti came to the Gulf Coast two days before Hurricane Katrina hit and offered a brilliant performance to a packed house.  His soul shined through his trumpet.  "That evening his mix of blues, jazz, and classical energized my weary mind. Botti talked about the 'Bitch who broke my heart, she even took my dog' sporadically through the show.  The comments got laughs, of course.  I joined along even though I was sharing his heartbreak.  We shared a deep personal moment that evening, and yet he would never know.  I suppose that's the beauty and wonder of being a performance musician.  You impact people who listen to your music the world over and never know the extent of your touch."  (p. 18)

The next day - a mandatory order of evacuation as Hurricane Katrina churned in the Gulf of Mexico.  We were without electricity, water, and music for days.  Once I began my journey north music returned to my world. Jo Dee Messina and Annie Lennox kept me company while my baby slept in the back seat. 

I wish you joy. I wish you strength. I hope you find just what you’re looking for … and I wish you still loved me.
— Jo Dee Messina

Jo Dee Messina, singer, song writer, fighter, survivor - "Didn’t settle, she didn’t let men walk on her, she didn’t have regrets, just memories and dreams.  She wanted a man to stand beside her, not in front or behind her.  Every song on her greatest hits album touched me that day especially ‘Bring on the Rain,’ Tomorrow’s another day/And I’m thirsty anyway/So bring on the rain.  I could still taste Katrina’s rain and wasn’t afraid anymore.  ‘I Wish’ played over and over." (p. 126)  

"I planned to make a CD of only that song for my soon to be ex-husband.  I felt forgiveness in this song, a closing, a peace.  But tragically I already knew Conner would never find what he was looking for.  It was a pitiful song speaking to me of all the talent and love, both mine and his, that he discarded so carelessly." (p. 126)  

Annie Lennox is simply an inspiration as an artist and humanitarian.  "Her ‘Bare’ album, a master, with titles ‘Bitter Pill,’ ‘The Hurting Time,’ ‘A Thousand Beautiful Things,’ and ‘Erased.’  Just like Chris Botti, these women shared my pain and rejection.  Annie sang to my core with every single song on ‘Bare.’  Honestly, the things you said/go round in my head/Still, it seems to be true/that nothin’ I do can influence you.  Banging a hard beat with her on my steering wheel, I sang most of the drive.  You’ll be sitting on someone else’s couch. I sang to the road and the sunny skies ahead of me.  Finally the truth has come/Guess I knowed it all along."  (p.127)

I was alone, in control, driving to my tomorrow.


Thank you Mr. Botti, Ms. Messina, and Ms. Lennox for reminding me who it was I had always wanted to be.

Love, Me