Sign, sign, everywhere a sign

by Jan 14, 2017

In 1971, The Five Man Electrical Band recorded Les Emerson’s song “Signs.” I was in my second semester of college. Never would I have thought those lyrics would be running through my head four decades later, or that I would use them when I describe writing my first book.

In a few days, all will be revealed. Finding the box of letters, after my father’s death, is significant. Finding the box in a specific trunk (revealed in the book) was a sign of what the letters held. And although waiting 15 years to go through the box might be difficult to understand, once you are aware of the movie that I emotionally watched last January, you will agree, it was a sign –  it was time to open the box.

Speaking with the first psychic, who told me a woman by the name of Mary would be instrumental in helping me with the book, and then having my agents suggest that I work with “Mary” Helen Clarke, editor of the YaYa Sisterhood series of books – sign.

I firmly believe to look for and follow signs as they guide us on our path. But not all signs work out as we might hope. In my first meeting with my PR team, assorted media outlets were discussed including Anderson Cooper. A day or so later, one of my artists arrived with new inventory including a painting titled, Gloria Vanderbilt Resting. My name and Anderson Cooper linked in conversation along with a painting, named after his mother, seemed like a sign that I might actually have an interview with him. Last week the painting sold and the day I took it to be shipped, I said: “Goodbye Anderson Cooper interview.” On that same day, we heard back from his producers saying: “As of now, given the political landscape and breaking news, we will not have the time for this interview any time soon.” I still see it as a sign but not with the results that I had hoped for. However, also on that day, producers for Dr. Phil reached out requesting a book. I’m now looking for the next sign.

A childhood friend, that I had not seen in many years, came to town recently and stopped by my gallery to talk with me about commissioning a painting. As we were catching up, I asked her to tell me what she had been doing over the years. Immediately I realized we were connected between the story I had uncovered and one aspect of her career. We never did talk about that commission but clearly, for another reason, we were meant to come together. Sign.

My team working with me all agreed from the start that we wanted the book launch to be held at Parnassus Books. With such limited time to read, I had not been in the store since they had expanded. I immediately ran by there to take a quick look and saw the piano on their stage. During my darkest time of discovery, to stepping back into the light as I came to terms with everything, I continued to compose, record and eventually finished my fourth album aptly titled, Journey. I see the piano as a sign and I plan to play one song, Shattered Memories, during the event on the 24th of January.

Have I ever questioned writing this book and sharing these very personal details with the world? No. There have been too many signs along the way guiding me and I firmly believe, this is what I am meant to do.

J. Ronald M. York, author of Kept in the Dark, is also an accomplished musician and founder of York & Friends Fine Art Gallery.

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