My son Daniel is fond of saying that nothing really matters in this world besides music and food. He explains that these two things alone bring great, reliable, and unmitigated pleasure and can transform our state of mind. Recently I was in New York City, the hustle-and-bustle capital of our country, and found myself completely caught up in all of it. I can’t remember exactly where I was at the time, but in the midst of all the chaos and the technology I heard the Frank Sinatra rendition of “The Girl From Ipanema,” and I began to melt. The singing, the musical score, and mostly the tempo of the song returned me to a period that maybe I had touched only in my youngest years, and maybe not even then but just read about or saw in the movies. Listening to it I imagined a slower time, when people gazed into each other’s eyes longer or just daydreamed while looking at nature rather than taking any pause as a cue to look down at their smartphone. I felt the humanness and even the romance of the period during which this song was recorded and it moved me. I will probably be listening to this song a lot going forward. Give it a shot yourself.
In this most contentious and fascinating of election cycles, when nearly each conversation leads to politics, and when polarization runs so high, I ask myself - what is the essence of the debate between left and right? What does it really mean to be a Conservative or a Liberal?