Thanks to the kindness of my yoga instructor Tim, I've been catching up on some back issues of Ebony. By back issues, I'm talking the mid 1970s, my favorite time period. (What's not to love about a time when people drank without so much condemnation and magazines advertised formulas to help women gain weight?, ie, Wate-On will put curves on your backside!) The Ebony in my hands is discussing Marvin's comeback after a five-year exile from Motown. Anyone who knows me that I'm gravitating to this issue over the one with Bill Cosby or even the great Stevie Wonder on the cover. I've been obsessed with his music since I was a little girl, but as an adult, I've come to appreciate the sort of person Marvin was.
To quote the article -- "That he is a man of stark contrasts and seeming contradictions does not set him apart. What really marks Marvin Gaye is his own bemused recognition of those contradictions." In the last years of his life, he was certain someone was going to kill him, travelled with bodyguards and even wore a bullet-proof jacket at times. He never felt safe except when he was in his parents' home. There are two worlds, Marvin says, that of the spirit and the flesh. Fear, he claims, stems from sin and he was always afraid of things, small and big -- flying, enclosed spaces, premonitions of being killed, of stardom,"a little afraid of living." Never felt safe except when he was at his parents' home where he died famously at the hands of his father. Sometimes Marvin performed in bullet-proof vests when he did big shows. But his fans loved him without reservation. It was at that safe place when he relaxed that he got shot. It's an irony that Marvin himself could appreciate if he'd lived through it.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"There are still times I feel unhappy and I must smile, and there are times I want to cry and I must laugh... people rarely see the real Marvin Gaye." Marvin Gaye
2 shots of Hennessey over ice. Drink slowly with "Inner-City Blues" playing.
Benedictions and Maledictions
Making Love While Conscious
Open your door and nobody’s there. That’s
as good a place to start as any. Startle at sounds.
This part works especially well if you live
with someone. Forget he’s there. Be reminded.
Sometimes he sneaks up behind you and laughs.
You laugh too. Tell yourself that none of this
matters. Keep telling yourself this for as long
as it takes. As for the nights, act like you’re dying
for it to keep what’s left of the peace, make him
happy. And who knows anyway? Maybe you are.