You never think it's going to happen to you or your community, but yesterday Madison, AL joined the fraternity of communities touched by the tragedy of school gun violence when a 14-year old boy was shot and killed in the hallway of Discovery Middle School.
I wasn't sure if I wanted to write about this and as I considered the possibility, I was pretty sure I'd need to take a one-day break from my miniseries of 2010 Blues Music Award nominees. While I'll certainly be focusing on things much larger than who wins an award, I can't think of a time that cries out for the blues more than something like this.
Ronnie Earl is one of the great guitarists of our time and is nominated for two BMAs this year. I'm pretty sure he had something else in mind when he composed "Recovery Blues" but having learned a little about his life and struggles, I have a feeling he won't mind us trying to find solace and comfort in the songs he wrote for Living In The Light.
The beauty of this composition and its appropriateness for this moment come in the way his lead guitar weeps and the way the organ proclaims a presence of healing.
When I first learned of the shooting, my thoughts immediately turned to my niece and nephew, both middle school students in Madison. I'm embarrassed to admit I thought they both went to Discovery. It turns out they attend one of the other middle schools in Madison. Still, for a few fleeting moments I had a profound anxiety attack. The odds were remote that either of them were hurt, but then the odds of something like this happening in our backyard were supposed to be remote and at that moment they were feeling anything but.