When Barack texted me and let me know that Stevie Wonder is going to be honored today with the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize, I immediately knew what I had to do.
(Yes, you read that right - why do you think it was such a big deal for President Obama to keep his Blackberry?)
I wrote a 25 page dissertation, detailing each and every way Stevie has given meaning to my life. (And I to his.) In excruciating detail, I outlined just how much his music means to me, personally, decade by decade, from the moment of my birth. When Stevie accepts that honor this evening, it's just like I'm there, humbly receiving my own recognition for a lifetime of service as a wanna-Wonder-be.
Now I would post my reflections here, but then it occurred to me: do I really need to state the obvious?
Though I can guarantee the parallels between my life and Stevie's are staggering and would startle, amaze and fascinate you, I decided against it. After all, can I be liable for your being so engrossed that you refuse to get back to work and/or spend quality time with your kids? (Or, let's be realistic, you really just need to get back to Facebook.)
So, in the spirit of being succinct and pointed in focus (my overall, guiding principle in blogging), I'll now quickly get to it and tie this into globeschooling.
In 2008, we took our daughters to see Stevie live in concert in Auburn, WA. It was part of a tour for Wonder music fans, but also his effort to rally support for Obama's election with songs like Sign, Sealed, Delivered and Higher Ground (my daughters' favorite because they think it's hilariously funny when he requests that "sleepers stop sleeping").
Making it extra meaningful, his daughter Aisha was there on stage that night, and I sang along to my girls as Stevie serenaded his with Isn't She Lovely. I think the fact that we recorded this song onto our answering machine to announce the birth of each of our daughters makes it our song just as much as it is Aisha's, does it not?
Until they fell over exhausted, the girls danced beside me to all of the songs. I then went on to embarrass them and likely humiliate myself by employing every high stepping move I'd ever seen a band drum major do (quite impressive judging from the looks of those seated around us).
When most of the sets were over and I'd given up on hearing my very favorite, there it was. The old of the old school, I Wish followed by Sir Duke. Not a bit self-conscious about "looking back on when I was a little nappy headed boy" in public, I accompanied him, word-for-word, on those Songs In the Key of MY Life.
By night's end, I'd checked off another learning objective listed among my exhaustive curriculum goals: Define & apply the meaning of vocabulary in context. In this case, the specific word was appropriation, but this method can no doubt be applied in many areas.
After this entry, I'm going to hold off on any more R&B posts for a while. I've already established beyond a doubt how intellectual this preoccupation is, but it's throwing Google's search engine completely off. I'm fast becoming (after 2 blog posts) the guru of all that is Motown, when my focus should be homeschooling and travel.
Just a few dozen more traditionally, scholastically themed posts, however, and I promise to return to the subject of my serving as Stevie Wonder's muse. As bonus, I'll also divulge how George Clinton defers to me in all that is P-Funk. (Teaser: I was the brainchild behind the inception of Funkadelic... that I was 3 months old at the time is irrelevant.)
Perhaps I'm delusional, you wonder? Well, if you see Stevie, go ahead and ask him. He'll tell you all about it, I'm sure. Right after he Fed Exes me half of his award: