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The Splendor of Concerts: A Temporary Escape from Unwellness


Ah, the power of music. Within its first note, you can be instantly transported back in time. I call it my temporary escape from unwellness. I understand why concert goers, fans, if you will, stand for hours at a time to see, hear, listen to their favorite artist. I also know why we cry when an artist whom we've never met, suddenly passes. Some artists are gift givers. They provide for us, at least for me, the ability to be authentic. Certain songs trigger emotions that I can't hide; nor do I want to. Songs make me snicker (Snoop Dogg); cry (Seal); or praise the Lord (Richard Smallwood).


This past Mother's Day was challenging for me. I was confronted with family issues, the loss of a pet, and lost expectations...just life, I guess, adulting, if you will. But, to my surprise, there was a concert on the horizon. My husband was aware of my disposition. He knew I wasn't feeling the "Day". He could sense there was a dark cloud hovering over me the entire weekend.


"Google, what's happening this weekend in Virginia Beach?" So, my husband's personal assistant lit up, as if eagerly awaiting to fulfill its purpose: Janet Jackson is performing in Virginia Beach on May 14, 2023.


"What!, Janet Jackson!", I exclaimed. It was at that moment when I think my dark cloud started to turn gray. 1989, with Sony walkman in hand and headphones on ears, strolling on the campus of Hampton University, I would play Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation album...endlessly. In fact, I remember my old housemate on campus use to ask me on several occasions to turn my music down when I would pop in the cassette, tap it shut; and hit the play button on my little stereo. Yes, the cassette player, a remnant of the past which gives your age away.


Talk about a full circle moment. Here I am, back in the Tidewater/Hampton Roads area where I graduated 32 years ago.


"...Seeing that your love's true

Never I'll doubt you

My heart belongs to

you, that's Alright with me

World could end

around me

So in love that I can't see

You and me were

meant to be, that's

Alright with me..."

Alright, performed by Janet Jackson; written by James Harris, Janet Jackson, and Terry Lewis


Lyrics of love, music which makes one sway, accompanied by a musical video with stellar choreography, are all ingredients of pure bliss. Music is transformative, it's mystical, it gives life. Music can be a healthy distraction from stress, anxiety, and mental unwellness. When I learned Jackson was performing, I immediately knew that her music would be my medicine. Just what the doctor ordered.


Sitting in the venue with my husband and two sons, it was a gorgeous spring evening in Virginia Beach, just what the doctor ordered. Ah, my temporary fix. Her set would soon start. Just like days of old, when I saw Jackson during her Rhythm Nation tour, back in the 90's, I sang every song, danced some of the choreography of the videos, but ultimately, I was transported back in time. Back to a place where I had very few responsibilities. I wasn't married. I had no children. I didn't have a house, not even a career. I just had my Sony walkman, my 1978 Toyota Corolla station wagon, and of course my music.


Sometimes you have to go back in time to see just how much God has blessed you.


When I first saw Jackson in the 90's, I never would have thought I would see her again during her 50 year anniversary tour of presenting the world with her presence, her gift. But here I am. I'm reflecting on the past, while standing in the now, with my husband, and my two sons. I have so much to be thankful for and sometimes it takes moments like this, a great temporary escape from unwellness to know that everything in fact will be alright.


Photography by Lisa LaCon

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