For his latest Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Music Challenge prompt, Jim Adams gave us the Bill Withers song, “Just the Two of Us.” The instruction Jim gives for this prompt is to “focus on this song and use it” as inspiration for our own post. But he also says that we can “write about another Bill Withers” song or we can “write about tears, struggling to make a better life, good things coming to those who wait, or the beauty of it all.”
The other day I was driving to the grocery store to pick up a fairly large list of items and the Bill Withers song, “Lean on Me” came on the radio. Now I’m not what you would call an emotional guy. In fact, I would categorize myself as a more stoic type. But for some reason, as I was listening to Withers sing that song, I became overwhelmed with a profound sadness and started to cry. I had to pull over to the side of the road and wait until the song ended so that I could pull myself together enough to resume my drive to the grocery store.
I’m still not sure what came over me. Maybe it was a combination of things — the coronavirus pandemic, the turmoil the country is going through since the brutal murder by four Minneapolis policemen of George Floyd, or the fact that we have Donald Trump as POTUS and he’s destroying the country I live in and love. But when I heard the song, I felt hopeless, like I didn’t know if I could carry on, and that there’s no one left anymore to lean on.
I’m okay now. I’m back to being my stoic, detached, unemotional self. But seeing Jim’s post this morning reminded me of my uncharacteristic reaction to “Lean on Me” and I decided to share it with all of you in this post.