Short Notes: Vale La Pena (It’s Worth The Sorrow)

Jose Vilson Short Notes, Writing

Juan Luis Guerra

1. I just love writing. I really do. No, no long reflections or juxtapositions. Just needed to get that out there. Lately, I’ve thought about what how happy writing makes me, even when my own writing here has become a subject of contention in different areas. My musings about life, love, and the pursuit of peace keep me more focused than ever on all the projects I’ve undertaken. I often wonder whether my various forms of expression is a source of conflict for some because of what I’m saying or because of how I present it.

I got to thinking about that because of this last post by Clay Burell that resonated with me a bit. Yes, it’s about the edublogosphere and how people care too much about stats and rankings, but it can be applied across the board. At some point after looking through my Google Reader, I thought about setting priorities and making sure this writing stayed in the column of “Things I Love To Do” rather than “Things That Keep Me Visible.” Yes, it serves both purposes; as an artist, I have to keep myself visible and a viable candidate for all sorts of projects, and much of my writing is dedicated to some sort of advocacy, and I recognize that. But it’s also my love, and when I lose the latter, I’d rather not have it for either.

2. I saw Juan Luis Guerra y La 440 on Friday (for those not familiar with this world-famous artist, get schooled here). For any Dominican-American, his concerts are only eclipsed in scale by a visit from the Pope, I kid you not. His merengue / bachata music resonates with so many people from across Latin America, and here in the States. When I heard the concert was at Madison Square Garden, I nearly flipped in my chair, immediately broke out the credit card, and bought 4 tickets at 100$ a pop.

At first, my thought was, “Do I really have the money for this typa thing? Am I not already going to the Chuck Mangione concert on Thursday? Didn’t I just get back from Dominican Republic? Don’t I have bills like no other?”

That lasted maybe 30 seconds. Then reason took over.

And rather than tell you right now why Juan Luis Guerra is so important to me, I’ve decided to dedicate a week’s worth of posts to him, because one post is just not enough. While I could be more concerned about who’s dating who and developments that may not resonate into the next year, I’ve decided to take an alternate route and educate you on one of the most important artists (and maybe even men) in Latin American history.

jose, who’s blasting Juan Luis Guerra songs all week …