Mike Edwards had died. The BBC reported that he had been killed in a freak accident when a bale of hay hit his car.
You might be asking, "Who is Mike Edwards?" Most notably, from 1972 - 1975, Mike was with the band Electric Light Orchestra (and if you don't know who they are, you might as well quit reading my posts and go watch The View instead). He played the cello for the band.
I, very literally, wore out ELO's Eldorado album. Trained in classical piano, and raised with older siblings who ran the gamut from folk to country to rock, I absolutely loved the amalgamation of genres in ELO's music. I couldn't get enough.
So I spent the day feeling very sad. Would I have recognized Edwards' name had the byline not mentioned that he played for ELO? Not likely. However, that doesn't make his impact on my life any less. The minute I read it, I felt such a profound sense of loss... a door pinching shut on my adolescence. I frittered the rest of the afternoon away, playing any and every ELO tune I could get my hands on.
This thought kept following me around: what a rich, diverse, and wonderful soundtrack I've had for my life. I'm alive at a time when there are more kinds of music available than ever before, when it's acceptable to listen to all of them. I learned from a very early age to tune in and what to listen for. I received a musical education that taught me to listen for and listen to nuances in music. I can dissect music without it losing any of its beauty. I can hear a piece and say, "ahh... lovely bit of flute there," without missing out on the bass or the fiddle. So I'm grateful, and very much so.
The other thought was, all these people who've made an impact on my life. All those artists who kept the beat going for me. They'll never know. They'll never know how thankful I am that they, at least for a time, ran in the direction of their dreams...
... and in a big way, taught me how to run in the direction of mine.
R.I.P. Mike... knowing that you made a difference in one young gypsy girl's life.