Perhaps the stars aligned the moment you heard her.
I remember my first time. I was between the ages of 7 and 9 living in a two bedroom apartment my mother and four siblings shared. I was probably sitting too close to the box TV set that we switched through channels on by using the large knob on the front.
It could have been in between episodes of Happy Days or Laverne and Shirley (my version of 90’s TV) that I first heard about her. I do know it was in one of those infomercials selling box CD sets from different decades. This particular one was about the 70’s and love songs.
This was quite possibly my favorite show.
The 30 to 40 second clips of these songs were like a dream to me. The music was infectious. I had never heard this kind of music before.
The Carpenters, Diana Ross, Andy Gibb…
I fell in love with them. I fell in love with love ballads.
Out of all of the clips and all the songs scrolling up the screen my favorite 30 seconds was when Minnie Riperton’s Loving You played.
It was dreamy.
My adult self would call it ethereal. My childhood self; likened the feeling of listening Minnie to how I felt when I watched Mister Rogers- I was entranced.
One day during the re-runs of this timeless infomercial my mom informed me that Minnie Riperton died.
I was upset and in disbelief.
I am watching her sing I thought. How could she be dead?
I didn’t have much experience in being around death but I was sad. It’s been over a decade and I still don’t understand death.
When I listen to Minnie now I can’t help but feel how the life in her music and her passing away doesn’t relate.
How can someone who’s created something so beautiful no longer create?
This is a feeling I have continued to feel about the way good things end.
I don’t have any answers but perhaps that’s alright.
Maybe the heart of the thing is as cosmic as Minnie’s music. Somehow you forget about living and dying and just revel in the magic.
The rest…is just the rest.