by Susan Varnes-Newland
(Guest blogger from Grieve The Astronaut) ~ ~
“When If Not Now”
(new song by Wanz)
I first heard “When If Not Now” at the Seattle Hard Rock Cafe. Michael A. Wansley , “Wanz”, was the emcee for the June 21st Make Music Day Seattle at the Make Music Day Seattle After Party. It was an unplanned performance, so I was able to hear Michael sing it raw and real. Which shows the true value of the performer and their creation.
Michael said the he wrote the song in response to the Parkland shooting. As I experienced his live performance, I was immediately drawn into the Truth of the lyrics. My eyes were squeezing together frequently, to blink away the tears that were forming. I could feel what he was trying to convey to all of us. The day before, my son and I had just returned from his 21st birthday trip to Las Vegas. While there, we visited a gun range, owned and operated by our US veterans. These are weapons used by our military in times of conflict, to protect our country. I kept thinking, “ Why would someone want to use these to kill innocent people?”. I don’t understand that type of violence and evil. I think that’s the way most of us feel.
“ When If Not Now” portrays that. There are more of us that want peace and unity, than those that want violence and hatred. And, we all need to recognize that. Stop taking the bait of evil, that pits us against each other. All of his lyrics are poignant, but these are the ones that I’m pulling out. The ones I most relate to.
“Wonder where I fit in
Where’s my place among the people
When will we begin
To save ourselves from evil”
What I really love about this song, is the way Michael chose to deliver his Message of Truth. It felt peaceful, positive and healing. He’s not instilling hate, he’s promoting love. The rhythm keeps us positively moving forward. Just as we should as a society. At the end, I didn’t feel depleted and angry. I felt positive and hopeful. Energized.
And, since the first time I heard this song was live at the Seattle Hard Rock, I have a visual of Michael standing onstage performing it. He was wearing this most fantastic, colorful hoodie. It was covered in bright colors and music symbols. Everyone kept commenting about it, because it was so beautiful! A Joseph and His Multi Colored Coat, that represents God’s love for us all.
After that visual came to mind, I listened to the song again. And then I heard it. The ethereal choir in the background, singing down from the heavens. Raining down peace, love and unity. And we all know what shows up after a storm and the sun starts shining again.
A radiant, colorful rainbow, that signifies Hope. And we need to remember that. It’s all of the colors of the rainbow, that make it beautiful. All of us, and our different backgrounds, beliefs and appearances are what makes this world such a magnificent place to experience.
That’s what I hear when I listen to “ When If Not Now”.
What do YOU hear?
SUSAN IN SEATTLE