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Mary J. Blige is singing directly to me. The whole room disappears, the earth disappears, the world disappears, and it is just the two of us. Everything else falls away and I hear her words, her love, her way of seeing life because of her compelling manner, her engaging desire, her implicit need to connect with me. Her. It’s like she’s my angel mother sent to speak directly to me about what ails me today. This is the power of song. This is the reason I love to hear singers, because it feels personal, just between the two of us. How does she know what I need, what I want to hear, what is best for me? She knows because she taps into the thing I already know is best for me, too, and let’s me believe it for myself. She doesn’t really know me, she knows herself, and she sings her own truth, which in turn is a way of inspiring any of us to know our own truth, too. I hear her words as if they are from her to me, but truly they are from her heart to my heart.

My heart tells me to listen to this, to stop and see, to consider that this voice is for me. Someone who offers respite from the world’s woes. The crowd is crazy for her too, it’s not just me. We all can feel it. She is sent to us from God, to tell us what she knows. She gets to pick her songs, her words, she knows what she is doing, this is what she wants to do. She wants to tell us that, “you need someone to love you, you need someone to hold you, tonight, someone to love you”. It isn’t news. It isn’t something foreign. It is simply her truth and our truth and my truth. “It doesn’t have to be me, but you need someone to love you, you need someone to tell you that everything is all right, someone to love you.” She hauls this stuff up from her soul and serves it to us because she can.

Thank you for your words, Mary J. Blige.