Sunday, February 6, 2011

Happy Birthday Bob



"Emancipate yourself 
from mental slavery.
None but ourselves 
can free our minds."

— Bob Marley


Bob Marley was a modern prophet of peace and right and revolution. And he was my countryman. I was drumming his beats on tuck shop tables at lunch time in junior school, getting on top of those tables sometimes to perform boisterous renditions of his songs with my friends. He was a dreaming country boy who came to the city and began to record that new reggae sound. Soon enough, it would explode onto the world stage, but that new beat and the languorous dance moves it inspired were mine as a Jamaican before they were everyone else's and so I feel a very personal connection to Mister Robert Nesta Marley.

He died on May 11, 1981, a few days after my birthday. He was 36. I cried when I heard he was gone and played his albums on repeat for months. In time it began to seem as if he was just away somewhere, living his life quietly, not really dead. His music is so alive in my house.



24 comments:

  1. He was such a deep thinker... wish he hadn't gone so soon.

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  2. That is one of my most favorite quotes.

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  3. Deborah, he would have been 66 today. Hard to believe. We grew up on his music, all of us, and so he lives on. Love to you and Ron!

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  4. Debra W, I started to put up another quote of his, and then i ran across this one and it was all over.

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  5. If I could, I'd paint a big HEART right here in lieu of a comment.

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  6. I feel you, Elizabeth! Bob's music is heart music and soul music and a mystic hopeful wail. Love him!

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  7. Wow... heavy.
    What a great image of him!!
    Sending love ~

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  8. michelle, gabriele—

    I changed the quote. It's his birthday and this one better represents his spirit.

    Thanks for loving Bob!

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  9. Debra W, i loved that other quote, too, but I kept wondering if I really believed what it was saying. Not sure.

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  10. That's how I think of death...just off somewhere...somewhere I can not see but I can feel.
    My son named his dog Nesta back in 1990.

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  11. By the way~when is your birthday? Mine is May 6~would yours perchance be that same day?

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  12. "Cause I feel like bombing a church, now
    Now that you know that the preacher is lying" my favourite Bob quote. Surely not MY church Bob, surely not...lol

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  13. thanks for the personal and loving tribute to brother bob. i was so wrapped up this weekend with activities his birthday passed me by. had i remembered i would have been playing marley music all weekend long.

    and similarly to your home bob is always alive at casa mouse!

    namaste!

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  14. To me, Bob Marley always came across as not just a creative person, but a very internally liberated one.

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  15. Kim, your son is a true fan! Not everyone knows Bob's other name. Nice to see you!

    Bruce, the way Bob sings that lyric does make it irresistible! But not your church of course. Never.

    Candice, he is, he is.

    mouse, somehow i knew you were a Bob Marley lover. namaste!

    Olga, you are so right about him. He lived as he chose, really.

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  16. and ,
    I love the image I have of you in my mind now.
    This glimpse into your past.

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  17. Angella, I have been hurt a million times by many different people who I never, ever would have expected it from, and yet, I refuse to stop loving. I refuse to stop forgiving. But I am learning, and to me, the first quote you had up speaks truth. For me, it is about boundaries. It's about finding the people who are worth the joy AND the pain. The quote is honest and sad but also validating.

    Hugs,
    Debbie

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  18. deb, i love that bob brought back that memory for me!

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  19. Debra W, i know what you mean and i think that was my first response to the quote, too. But my spirit somehow resists embracing it as absolute truth. Surely there is a person somewhere in my life who has never hurt me. I think there is. But this is my personal truth (hope?) which is as valid as your personal truth, so if the quote speaks to you, then I am glad I put it up. Somehow, when I took it down, I kept it in the body text instead of doing away with it entirely, so it must speak to me on some gut level, too.

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  20. Ya know, that first quote you chose really spoke to me today. Bob was a very good friend of a friend of mine. AND my youngest daughter's hero along with John Lennon. Her walls are filled with their photos. It's funny...as much as things change, they stay the same...

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  21. Kathleen, i am glad i didn't remove the first quote from the post if it spoke to you. wow, did you know bob marley personally? or meet him at some point? would love to hear your impressions sometime. always nice to see you.

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  22. No Angella I never met him. In fact I didn't meet my friend til way after her drugs, sex and rock and roll years. She knew everyone and my kids love listening to her stories about the Stones, the Beatles, Bob, Sean Connery, the list goes on and on. She's a respectable therapist now. Funny, huh?

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