In my youth, Alan Parsons was a musical enigma; he wasn’t the front person of his band, per se; he had vocalists who embodied the words that dotted his rich, complicated, aural soundscapes. Parsons was a trendsetter, but few followed his path and, as a result, he retained a unique place in rock that no one else could even approach, and it didn’t seem that many tried, even to today. Still active, Parsons was a producer and engineer who worked with The Beatles on Abbey Road and Let It Be. Parsons’ project partner Eric Woolfson was the songwriter in the partnership. Together with many session musicians, they created some magnificent albums from 1976 to 1990. I was mesmerized by them then, and still find them haunting, inviting and evocative.
As we abide in this enforced coronavirus slowdown, the concept of time might become less clear for those who usually are accustomed to running swiftly on time pressures, whether real or self-imposed. Employment prospects are unclear right now, and I sympathize, though I admit I can’t completely understand as I don’t work anymore so am not under those pressures. In the meantime, we’ve got vital work to do: flattening the curve, avoiding gatherings, staying home as much as possible, and only going out for essential items.
Today I went through a convoluted process online, to replace a smoke detector as, when going around changing all the batteries yesterday, I noticed one of our many (it’s a three-storey home) needed to be replaced. I surfed and tried to shop on Canadian Tire which is the closest hardware store to us. At first, I couldn’t even get on the website, as it was so overloaded with traffic. (One of our lovely neighbours is bilingual; she recently used the Français side of Canadian Tire’s site to get what she needed. I’m so glad all her many years of hard work paid off for her!)
Eventually, I was able to find what I wanted and phoned in the order. Today, as that was the recommended process, today, anyway. The clerk with whom I connected was pleasant, and I was grateful for her cheerful, efficient service. For an outing today, Sweety and I drove to Canadian Tire and parked in the curbside pickup stall. When we returned home, I soon realized I had ordered a hardwired detector for a place that requires a battery-operated unit. I may have said a couple of cuss-words.
So, during (in retrospect) a poorly-planned, overlapping set of chores, it was back to searching the Canadian Tire site tonight which, once again, wouldn’t let me in due to the pushiness and better internet strength in the hordes of other laptop shoppers. The blessing was that this pause caused me remember some other obscure items I needed, so I’m patiently marking my time with the site as we speak, with a partial shopping cart parked somewhere in cyberspace (glad I did not have to wrestle a dollar-coin into it to free the cart up…). But this amorphous cart is now like a friend to whom I ask a profound question, and must await the thoughtful response.
Should I be saying, “Ohm”?
At any rate, I feel like I have time. I hope.
“Time” was the first Alan Parsons Project song/single that composer Eric Woolfson sang. The vocal on the song is delightful and, might I say, timeless? I remember hearing that Woolfson crossed over from this life and world, in 2009. Time. We sometimes think it is unending. It’s not. We must value this moment, and wash our hands like we really and truly mean it, stay home, and not touch our faces. And, if we can, we must help those in our community whom we leave behind in this uncertain time. As a Winnipeg, Canada musical treasure Scott Nolan has put it, “We’re all just trying to warm our hands around the fire.” Yeh. We must keep our distance, but at the same time can still “be close” in the sense of helping each other.
It’s a time when many are unsure where that next fire log is going to come from. I’m turning 60 this week and, instead of a party (yeah, that would be stupid, because gatherings are places the virus loves) or presents (I am almost 60; what the hell do I need by now?), I’ve asked people to donate to Winnipeg Harvest, to help supply food to those whom our society forces to seek a hand-up. We surpassed my original goal in a few hours and, after two days, almost doubled it with tax-deductible (in Canada) donations of CAD 1,150. With the buying power and careful stewardship of non-profits, that’s a lot of food. If you’d like to join us, the fundraiser will continue until the end of April, unless donations stop sooner; I want to help the money flow to Harvest as quickly as possible. You can find my birthday fundraiser here. I would love it if you could join us, and any amount helps!
So… yeah, there’s time, but no time to lose.
But, sadly, those for whose time has ended, at least on this visible plane… we grieve.
Now you know a little about why this is my song of the day for today. Thanks for joining me here, and please enjoy.
Here’s the official audio from The Alan Parsons Project’s YouTube channel (select 1080p in settings, for best sound):