Tuesday, August 12, 2008

JIll Scott: My "Ambassador of Quon"

I don't know if you have ever seen the movie Jerry McGuire starring Tom Cruise and Cuba Gooding Jr., but I have. Many, many times. Alright I'll admit it. It's my favorite movie. So even though the flick was out about 12 years ago, I still go around calling people my Ambassadors of Quon. For those of you who don't know what the hell I'm talking about because you haven't seen the movie (which, by the way, is totally unacceptable), Quon is a term that Cuba's character used to describe a state of bliss, of having it all together, of being at peace with one's life and accomplishments. According to this definition, an "Ambassador of Quon" is one who represents Quon to the fullest and inspires people to reach their own state of Quondom. With all that said, I'll say this: Jill Scott is my ambassador of Quon.

I was reminded of her power, her presence on Monday night at Wingate Field where she performed. LIVE. I didn't even want to go because it looked like rain but Skye made me get up and go. I woulda stayed home but I guess the child did need some fresh air after all and it was free. So we went. And I'm so glad I did although at first they were giving us a hard time getting in. But my daughter would not take no for an answer. She was going to see herself some Jill Scott that night and nothing was going to stop her. I know that's right.

Anyway, the singer sang many of her hits and it was soo much fun, even a little spiritual. I mean, it threatened to rain all night but never ever did. The sky stayed clear and the temperature mild. It was prefect. I tell you , there's nothing like screaming out the lyrics to "Golden" or "Hate on Me' on a cool summer night with your fellow Brooklynites. It was a truly inspiring, magical experience. But the most magical moment was when she performed
"Lyzel in E Flat." We all know this song was written for her ex husband and know it had to be hard for her to sing. She acknowledged it by stating, right before starting to sing the song, "OK. Now. For the last time this year..." The audience held it's breath and she took a deep breath before launching into an operatic rendition of the song's introduction. "He loves me, especially different..." It was soo beautiful. And sad. And amazing because of the sadness. And the way she chose to sing the song gave it the tone and intensity of and Italian Operatic Tragedy. But just when you thought she was about to break, just when you though she and the audience was going to lose it, burst into tears, or start on some ole sadness, she flipped it. It went from straight up opera to a classic club song! The crowd cheered and everyone started dancing and jumping up and down to the beat. Never one to shy away from improvisation and reinventing her songs (and herself) Jill gave a much needed twist, jump and shout to the classic love song. It was like she was telling us all: Don't feel sorry for me. Yes I was sad for a while but that's behind me now. Now I'm celebrating. Now I'm dancing.

It just reiterated what I already know: When you have heartache and disappointment in your life, you have to flip it in your favor. You have to let go of the past and enjoy what's staring straight at you in your face in the present. And that's exactly what Jill Scott did on Monday night in Brooklyn during what was her last performance in The States (she's off to share her fabulous voice with Africa). She made lemonade out of lemons, turned darkness into light, found the good in the bad. And for that, she is, indeed, my "Ambassador of Quon."

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