In memory of Dave Brubeck: ‘Why not?’



By Alexandria Sardam

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Yet another chapter of so many college careers has come to an end as we all wave goodbye to the 2012 fall semester. For some, it might not be approaching nearly fast enough as your energy dwindles with every word you write and chapter you read. Your enthusiasm escaping with every last paper you submit, so much so that you don’t even know what you’re really writing about. You so badly want to forget the agonizing months as badly as you wanted to forget about the test you failed and folded up into the tiniest wad in hopes of somehow erasing it from the universe — and your professor’s grade book. Yet for others, this end represents something quite opposite as the now sepia-toned memories creep into black accompanying the collected ticket stubs and friendships made. For them, the semester represents leaving behind something beyond the ten-page papers, heart-wrenching breakups and nauseating hangovers. And while we’ve all experienced a helpful serving of both dishes, I challenge all of you to conquer on, sending surged fists through the air, shattering the looming walls, the day to day monotony of a sometimes mundane existence that plagues us all and to just smile.

Just smile. Because we all deal with trials, because we are all not happy every minute of our lives. But a lot of us are blinded by something and for some reason to ignore the good things in our lives. The tiny moments, the sprouting trees, the growing children. Something so exquisite about music is that the true beauty and significance applies solely to the observer. The same goes for life, life and all of its twisting paths through our tangled quests. The way you cast your eyes on something exclaims the magnitude in which you have chosen to accept all of life’s sheens. And while sometimes we don’t know the genuine, glossy finish until it has had time to set in, that constant pursuit of, “why not?” will turn into a molten mind frame of never giving up. And beyond that, sometimes taking that extra hand’s length (ed) grasp of, “why not?” we are joined on the other side by locked fingers.

Yesterday, a true music legend died. Passing one day short of his birthday on the 6th, American jazz pianist Dave Brubeck represented something very special to us all. He knew how to give music a chance, how to just go for it, to utter the saying, “why not,” so many times it became second to his name. But where Brubeck really lucked out is when he applied that very same heart that thumped for life to music. You see with jazz you have to take chances, you have to move in a different direction, unexpected yet buoyant. With taking that leap of faith, he clutched on to the coattails of life, sailing through with a wildly beating heart.

This column is dedicated to Brubeck and the legacy he leaves behind with “why not.” Best of luck on finals scholars! Enjoy the new year and continue to love and listen with an open heart.