Music brings more emotion to my life than anything else -- more than reading or art. It is music that touches my soul, brings forth my joy and expresses my pain.
With classical music it is the male singer that can touch me. Sopranos so often seem to "screech." The mezzo voice seems too heavy, too serious. Like most people, it is the tenor that brings the tears to my eyes and that ache in my loins.
I've never much liked rap or R&B or soul or even rock and roll. The groups today scream instead of sing. A little modern music goes a long way and as I age, I actually have no idea who any of the artists are on the topic 100 hits of the day. Adele? Madonna at the Super Bowl? Pink? Those voices are sound puny to me, just raucous noise.
Whitney Houston, though. Hers was a voice that soared through me, left me breathless, sent me flying into the stars. During the '80's it was her voice in the morning that I'd holler with as I drove down the boulevard to Paseo High School. If I turned up the radio, Whitney could fill my car and I was sure she was loud enough to drown out my yowls and caterwauling -- while I released all the passion inside me. It was her voice that would get me through the long, last two years as I watched Paseo disintegrate under me, and my twenty-two year career careen into a sixteen year hiatus.
I bought Whitney's CDs and played them endlessly, singing along as I did the housework or cooked the meals or folded the wash or looked for work. Hubby and I went to her movies and especially liked Body Guard and The Preacher's Wife.
It was Streisand's voice I yearned for until I heard Houston. Then I gave myself over body and soul to her sound.
I know that her life was ground into dust, a misery of bad men and worse drugs. They said her voice had become raspy from drug and alcohol use. Her beauty was being ravaged. But when she opened up those vocal chords -- and used her emotion and talent to tell me that "I believe the children are the future, teach them well and let them lead the way," it was then that I knew I had chosen well in being a teacher, that it truly was the "Greatest Love of All."
Thank you for the music, Whitney. I wish you could have understood just how deeply you touched us.