Feeling better . . . and now feeling sad

My infection is nearly healed and I’m thankful for all the kind messages. I’m sure the energy that came my way helped speed the healing. There is only a small hot patch left and I’m pretty sure it will be gone in the next couple of days.

  Musician Pete Seeger and wife Toshi Seeger attend the memorial celebration for Odetta at Riverside Church on February 24, 2009 in New York  Pete Seeger Royalty Free Stock Photo

If you are wondering why I’m feeling sad, it’s because I just heard the news that Pete Seeger died yesterday. I’m not sad for him, but for a world that will be dimmer with his passing. He has been a key figure in my universe since I can remember folk music; high school at least (we didn’t usually have a radio earlier than that). His ideas, his passion, his love . . . all made me think and helped form my own beliefs.

Singer, songwriter, activist for a multitude of causes; all that and so much more. He  built his own house and lived there with his wife, who raised their children while he was away standing up for all of us in so many ways. He was a true pioneer. He started the movement to clean up the Hudson River, took part in many protests (and was arrested a couple of times). There is a lot in anyone’s story when they have lived into their nineties. If you don’t already know, and want to know more, there’s a lot of information online. And some in the documentary I’ve linked to below.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/pete-seeger-dead-folk-singer-and-activist-dies-at-94-1.2513591

Pete’s wife, Toshi, died last July, only 9 days before their 70th wedding anniversary. She had a great influence on him, from what he said and what was written about them. Many said he couldn’t have done the work he did without her support and he acknowledged that.

Pete and Toshi are people I look up to for their willingness to stand up for their beliefs, to live what they preached, to find non-violent ways to effect change, in a way few manage to achieve.

Thanks to YouTube, I’ve been able to view many of his “Rainbow Quest” sessions, featuring a wide variety of musicians. Rainbow Quest was Pete’s folk music show and I would have loved it, but at the time I didn’t have electricity or a tv; besides, I doubt the shows aired in Canada.

Pete learned, played and wrote a book about the five-string banjo; the book is still available.

I think all the radical, bolshie hippies and their ilk will be forever grateful.Here’s a link to 10 quotes (I’m sure there are hundreds!

Here’s links to a few of my favourite songs:

Bring ‘Em Home

Waist Deep in the Big Muddy

(written about the Vietnam War, but applies to most of our current political situations)

What Did You Learn in School Today?

Solidarity Forever

Here’s a collection of his songs.

The Power of Song – documentary from the PBS American Masters series

One of his grandsons is quoted as saying that Pete was out chopping wood just 10 days before he died. Way to go, Pete!

As Woody Guthrie would have said, “So long, it’s been good to know ya” . . .

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23 thoughts on “Feeling better . . . and now feeling sad

  1. I miss him a lot too. He was just as formative to me as he was to you and to so many others of us. I’m an old radical hippie activist myself and have listened to Pete since I was in high school too. He will be sorely missed. Thanks for writing so nicely about him.
    I’m glad you’re doing better yourself too!
    peace,
    Steve

    • Thanks, Steven, and thanks for dropping in. The world needs more radical hippie activists these days . . . Thanks for the good wishes, too. I’m fine again now. Peace to you, too. ~ Linne

  2. I came by to thank you for stopping by. I need to add you to my blog role if that is ok? I saw this post and was grateful for it because I actually got weepy sad when I saw this news the other day. Life is changing and our folk writers are leaving. Makes me so sad.

  3. So very glad you’re feeling better.
    94 they say. I’ve seen some people who look older in their 60’s! What a wonderful life he must have lived to be so physically active, so vibrant and active, so enriched to be shining out from inside him to live so long and how wonderful to be married to the same person for 70 years. I too am glad he hasn’t been separated too long from his life’s love.
    It is always sad when the world loses someone special but once the initial grief passes we can look at all they have done for their world and those whom they have touched, throw our hands up in the air, our heads back and be so profoundly grateful to have been touched by one so special.

    • Thanks, Robbie. I’m pretty much over it now.

      Yes, we will miss him, for sure. I thought the same; how hard to live with your love through all that, for 70 years, then be left on your own. It would be so hard. Of course, it can be hard at any age, but in your 90s you’re not looking to start over is my thought. How lucky we were, though, to have him to look up to and his music to listen to; even now, when he’s gone from our sight. ~ Linne

  4. I don’t watch tv or get the newspaper so I didn’t know. Cheers for telling me but like you, I am sad :(. Whenever a wonderful positive voice for peace and change blows away in the breeze we are left with a void that can’t be filled. Cheers for the linkies. I was wondering what I was going to do today. Now I know.

    • I actually heard it on Facebook. Someone had posted a notice. Mum gets the paper on Friday and Saturday; I rarely take time to read much of them. Somedays we watch the news. If I am following some event, I check my CBC news app on my phone. I thought there would be others like us, so am glad I posted. Hope you enjoyed the links. I figured out later that some of them link to the same site; it’s a compilation and each song has the same address. But I’m sure you figured that out. You know, for all that I listen to quite a lot of amplified music these days, I still love to hear a simple song done acoustically. And I am so grateful to have access to YouTube. ~ Linne

  5. So pleased to hear you are feeling better Linne – healing from the inside out! 🙂

    Pete was a great pioneer as you said – he touched my life quite early on and his music and consciousness for the planet has woven its way in and out of many lives. How wonderful that he lived into his 95th year, still spreading the word just months before he passed. What a hero and such a great example! The world was blessed to have him for so long.

    • Thanks, Pauline. Yes, that’s the way I approach any dis-ease in my body.

      As to Pete; I was first aware of him as a singer when I was in high school, possibly in junior high. But I knew many of the songs well before that. My Dad played guitar and sang so many of the old songs. I was always drawn to the music of the 20s and 30s; even the songs of WWI (the first ones I heard were on an old wind-up gramophone that played flat, one-sided, one-song records. The lady who owned it also had one that played cylindrical records. Those first songs included “There’s a long, long trail a-winding” and “It’s a Long, Long Way to Tipperary”. I’d give anything, nearly, to go back and hear them one more time. Ahhh . . . nostalgia, eh?

      We were indeed blessed to have Pete for so long. I think we all felt he would be here forever . . .

    • Thanks, Wendy. His work and songs have meant a lot to me since I was pretty young. We have to know that others will come along who will speak for their generations as well. The world of music is so different these days and that whole cult of fame rather than talent and integrity must be hard to counter. I am pretty much over the tooth thing; by tomorrow, I figure there won’t be any sign of it left.

    • Thanks, Christi; They mean a lot to me and I’m heartened to see how many others, too. They’ve been on my mind, too.
      It’s nice to feel ‘normal’ again. Thanks for all the good thoughts and wishes. I wish you peace, too; especially in the midst of all your changes. Now I will have to go farther to visit, but who knows? ~ Linne

Thanks for stopping by my blog! I look forward to reading your comments. ~ Linne

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