You Can’t Take My Blues Away

Joie: So, Willa, I’ve been wondering if you ever go through phases where you don’t listen to a certain song for a long time, and then suddenly, you can’t seem to get it out of your head. Like, for example, there are times when I won’t listen to certain things – like Michael’s early, Motown work – for several months. And then all of a sudden one day, no matter what I do I just can’t seem to get “Dancing Machine” or “Looking through the Windows” out of my head. Do you ever do that?

Willa: I do! And sometimes it isn’t even a song I like.

Joie: Oh, I do that too! I hate it when that happens!

Willa: I know. It’s not so bad if it’s a song you love, but sometimes it isn’t. Though if I think about it, sometimes I realize that song is telling me something I need to hear right then.

Joie: Hmm. Now that’s an interesting way of looking at it. Next time that happens I’ll have to think about what the song is trying to tell me.

Willa: It can be fun trying to figure that out – kind of like trying to interpret dreams and see what your subconscious mind is puzzling over, even though you may not realize it. Though I have to say, I’m not very good at it – generally it remains a mystery. Sometimes I can make sense of it, but most times it just seems completely random.

Joie: It certainly does feel random usually. Well, I’m asking because there is a song that I have been singing to myself for about a week or so now, and it’s one that I have not listened to for probably a year, at least. It’s “Blues Away” by the Jacksons.

The song is on their 1976 album titled simply The Jacksons, the first one under their new name and their new label, and it was actually one of the very first songs that Michael wrote himself that was released.

Willa: That’s true. In fact, I think it was the first. He also helped write “Style of Life” on the same album, but that one he wrote with Tito – in fact, Tito is listed first, meaning he’s the principal author. But “Blues Away” credits “Michael Jackson” alone, and it seems to be the first released song he wrote entirely on his own.

Joie: It’s a simple little song, just over three minutes in length, and it’s sort of sweet, but also sort of sad in a way. The chorus of the song says “You can’t take my blues away, no matter what you say.” And I have always been sort of intrigued by this, and I’ve spent considerable time wondering about it. So, I thought maybe we could talk about it and I could get your take on it.

Willa: Sure, that sounds fun. You’re right, it is a fairly simple song – it doesn’t have the depth or complexity of a lot of his later work. Just think about “Billie Jean,” which was released only three years later. “Billie Jean” has so much going on, musically and thematically – though it handles it all so effortlessly it’s easy to overlook just how complicated it is. But even a relatively simple song like “Blues Away” can be a challenge to interpret. Like a lot of his songs, its meaning is subtle and ambiguous. It slips around.

For example, if someone told me this was a courtship song – a song a guy was singing to a girl he wants to go out with – and if they told me the title was “Blues Away,” I would guess that he’s telling the girl he has the blues without her, and if she goes out with him it’ll send his “blues away.” That would be a more typical approach – kind of like “Ain’t No Sunshine.” But that isn’t what he’s saying.

Joie: No, it’s not what he’s saying at all, and actually, I’m not entirely sure that this is meant to be a courtship-type song. Although it does feel that way at times. The first verse opens this way:

I’d like to be yours
So I’m giving you some time to
Think it over today
But, you can’t take my blues away
No matter what you say, babe

So, at times, it does feel like a courtship song. He’s telling her that he’d like to go out with her and maybe be her boyfriend, but he’s not sure how she feels so he’s giving her some time to think it over. But then in the next breath he tells her that no matter what she decides, it’s not going to take away his blues. He’s still going to be a little bit depressed, even if she says yes.

Willa: Exactly, which isn’t at all what you’d expect, so I can see why you aren’t sure if this is really a courtship song or not. I’m not sure about that either.

I’m going to go way out on a limb here, but I don’t think Michael Jackson was a romantic – at least not in the conventional sense of the word. What I mean is, a lot of romantic songs seem to suggest that if two people really love each other, then that’s all they need to be happy. The rest of the world just sort of fades away into the background, and doesn’t really matter anymore. All they need is each other.

But I don’t think Michael Jackson saw things that way. I don’t think he ever could forget the rest of the world, or even his own troubled feelings about things. It reminds me of something he wrote in Moonwalk in 1988:

My dating and relationships with girls have not had the happy ending I’ve been looking for. Something always seems to get in the way. The things I share with millions of people aren’t the sort of things you share with one. Many girls want to know what makes me tick – why I live the way I live or do the things I do – trying to get inside my head. They want to rescue me from loneliness, but they do it in such a way that they give me the impression they want to share my loneliness, which I wouldn’t wish on anybody, because I believe I’m one of the loneliest people in the world.

That’s such a different way of seeing things. He expresses a profound loneliness – as he says, “I believe I’m one of the loneliest people in the world” – and just looking at his life story, I can believe it.

Joie: I agree.

Willa: He really was in a unique and terribly isolating position, wasn’t he? And generally, we think the cure for loneliness is to find someone who loves you and understands you, but he doesn’t seem to feel that way. Instead, he seems to suggest he has a loneliness so deep and absolute that sharing it can’t make it go away. It would just spread his loneliness to another person, and he “wouldn’t wish that on anybody.”

Joie: Willa, that is not only very interesting, but also amazing. I think you may have just put into words what he couldn’t fully express. We, as a society, do tend to believe that the cure for loneliness is to find someone who loves and understands you. Or at the very least, someone who simply accepts you as you are.

Willa: Oh, that’s a good point, Joie – someone who accepts you unconditionally, even if they don’t understand you.

Joie: But Michael didn’t feel that way. He didn’t share that belief with the rest of us. He seemed to be coming from a place much darker and more isolated than most of us could even fathom, I think. A place where his loneliness ran so deep that it permeated his soul. And he lived his life in a way that seems to suggest he feared his loneliness would only corrupt others if he let them get too close.

Willa: It feels that way to me too. But you know, the really odd thing is that, listening to his voice – which always seems to have a touch of sorrow in it, even when he was very young – helps our loneliness go away. That seems cruelly ironic, that his sadness helps us feel better, but it seems to … at least it does for me. He’s helped me through some really difficult times, and I’ve heard others say that too. He’s almost like an empath, taking on our troubles and helping us feel better, and I don’t think it would work the same way if he didn’t have that sorrow in his voice.

Joie: I think you are absolutely right!  His voice does always seem to carry a measure of sorrow in it, and it did feel at times that he could feel our pain. That he already knew all about it because he had seen it or gone through it before himself. And you’re right, there are hundreds, probably thousands, of fans out there who will tell you that listening to his voice helped them through the toughest of trials in their lives. I’m one of those people too, Willa. And I love what you said about him being an empath.

You know, I’m a huge Star Trek fan, and my favorite Star Trek series is The Next Generation with Capt. Jean-Luc Picard. In that series, one of the main characters is a female Starfleet officer named Deanna Troi, and she comes from the planet Betazed, which is a race of telepaths who can hear your thoughts as though you’re speaking out loud. That’s how they communicate among themselves. They only lower themselves to speak when they’re dealing with “off worlders.” Well, Deanna wasn’t a true telepath because her father had been a human Starfleet officer, so while she could easily communicate telepathically with other telepaths, she couldn’t hear your thoughts. But she could feel your every emotion because she was an empath. And her empathic abilities gave her a very unique perspective on the people around her.

Willa: That’s a great description, Joie, and it reminds me of one of the original Star Trek shows. They meet an empath who not only feels the emotional suffering of others, but can also take on their physical suffering and heal it. One of the crew members – Captain Kirk, I think – is fatally wounded somehow, and even though she knows what it means, she takes on his wounds and his suffering, so he’s cured and she dies instead.

That’s an extreme example, but in some hard-to-define way Michael Jackson seems to have had an empathetic connection with people also – at least it feels that way to me – and in his own way was able to take on our suffering and help us feel better.

Joie: At times, it does seem like Michael Jackson must have had some kind of empathic ability somehow. I don’t think there’s ever been another person who just appeared to be so in tune with what others were feeling. And he seemed to have such a burden for the sick and the weak, almost as if he truly could feel their suffering.

Willa: I agree. And even those of us who never met him could listen to his voice and feel an emotional connection that just made you feel better somehow. He also inspires us to help others, as Sylvia Martin explores in an article we recently added to the Reading Room.

You know, thinking about all this in terms of “Blues Away” reminds me of a story from Randy Taraborrelli’s biography. When Michael Jackson was 13 or 14, his brother Tito decided to get married but Michael discouraged him, and his reasons are really interesting. Here’s what Taraborrelli says:

Michael felt strongly that Tito was letting their fans down by marrying, and attempted to convince him to change his mind. “Think about all the girls out there who love us,” he said, trying to reason with his brother one day in the Motown offices.

“They don’t even know us, Mike,” Tito said. “We can’t live our lives for perfect strangers.”

“But they do know us,” Michael argued, according to a witness, “and we owe them, Tito. We owe them.”

To be honest, this puzzled me for a long time. What difference does it make if Tito – or even Michael Jackson himself – gets married or not? It’s not like it would affect his voice, or his skill as a dancer. It shouldn’t affect his performance in any way. So why does he feel he “owes” it to his audience not to get married?

I think it’s because of how we relate to him, and how we project our feelings onto him and feel them reflected back at us. And I also think it’s because of the empathetic connection he felt with his audience. It required total dedication on his part – a willingness to open himself emotionally and commit himself fully and completely to his audience and his art. And he did that. He gave everything, body and soul. And I think he understood that from a young age – understood what was required of him to be who and what he was, to fill the cultural role he filled, and to be what we needed him to be.

Joie: I’ve never thought about it like that before, Willa. That’s really deep, isn’t it? And still so very sad. It’s almost like he willingly gave up his happiness so that he could make us happy instead. Sort of like someone laying down their own life for the life of his friend.

Willa: Oh, it’s terribly sad. You know, I think about his life sometimes, and all the things he went through, and it’s almost unbearable. I wish he could have found that “happy ending I’ve been looking for” that he talks about in Moonwalk. I wish his life could have turned out differently. I wish the 1993 allegations had never happened, or if they did happen that he was cleared somehow, and he could have found contentment and peace. I want it so badly it hurts – it’s like a physical ache – and I think a lot of fans feel that way.

Joie: I think they do too.

Willa: And maybe if he’d been more like Tito and made the same decisions Tito made, his life would have turned out differently. After all, Tito’s a very talented blues guitarist and performer and producer in his own right, as well as a father and grandfather. It is possible to be a musician and still have a happy home life.

But of course, Michael Jackson was so much more than a musician. He was an artist of a very rare caliber, and a transformative cultural figure who radically changed how we see ourselves and each other. And to be honest, knowing how dedicated he was to his art, I can’t really picture him making a decision different than the one he made. He lived his life with courage and passion and a total dedication to his art, and I’m filled with admiration because of that – as well as sadness for the things he gave up.

Joie: And he did give up so much when you think about it. You know, Willa, thinking about what you just said about the fans wanting so badly for circumstances in his life to have turned out differently … I truly agree with that statement. I think probably most of us who call ourselves fans would agree with that. But I have a confession to make. I sometimes think about Michael’s life, and about how dedicated he was to his art and how much he sacrificed to make us happy, and I feel extremely guilty about how things turned out for him. Does that make sense? And I’ve always wondered if others feel guilty or if it’s just me.

But getting back to the song, “Blues Away,” you know, that song was written back in the mid ’70s and I find it interesting to think that he knew even back then that his was going to be a life of sorrow. I mean, that’s basically what that song is saying, I think – that no matter what answer she gives him, no matter what happiness comes, there will always be that undercurrent of sorrow for him.

Willa: I think you’re right, Joie. As he tells her in that line you quoted earlier, “You can’t take my blues away, no matter what you say.”


About Dancing with the Elephant contributors

Joie Collins is a founding member of the Michael Jackson Fan Club (MJFC). She has written extensively for MJFC, helping to create the original website back in 1999 and overseeing both the News and History sections of the website. Over the years she conducted numerous interviews on behalf of MJFC and also directed correspondence for the club. She also had the great fortune to be a guest at Neverland. She has been a Michael Jackson fan since she was three years old. Lisha McDuff is a classically trained professional musician who for 30 years made her living as a flutist, performing in orchestras and for major theatrical touring productions. Her passion for popular musicology led her to temporarily leave the orchestra pit and in June 2013 she received a Master’s degree in Popular Music Studies from the University of Liverpool. She’s continuing her studies at McMaster University, where she is working on a major research project about Michael Jackson, with Susan Fast as her director. Willa Stillwater is the author of M Poetica: Michael Jackson's Art of Connection and Defiance and "Rereading Michael Jackson," an article that summarizes some of the central ideas of M Poetica. She has a Ph.D. in English literature, and her doctoral research focused on the ways in which cultural narratives (such as racism) are made real for us by being "written" on our bodies. She sees this concept as an important element of Michael Jackson's work, part of what he called social conditioning. She has been a Michael Jackson fan since she was nine years old.

Posted on January 30, 2014, in Michael Jackson and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 22 Comments.

  1. I believe the empath analogy is quite apt as it relates to Michael Jackson. The ST episode to which you refer is called ‘Gem’. Gem had empathic powers that were being tested by the elder empaths to see if she would willingly make the ultimate sacrifice to fulfill her destiny or shrink from it in fear of physical and emotional pain and of death itself. After much trepidation, Gem overcame her fear, fulfilled her destiny through the mortally-wounded Kirk, and, at the gateway of death, she was spared, becoming literally a pearl of great price. It’s a beautiful story, a lesson in suffering, sacrifice, destiny fulfilled and finally the embrace of Joy that has no end.

    • Hi Judith. Thank you for the full story – there’s so much more to it than I was remembering! You’re right, it is “a lesson in suffering, sacrifice, destiny fulfilled and finally the embrace of Joy that has no end,” and very relevant to Michael Jackson.

  2. Thank you so much for this discussion. For me, as apparently millions of others, this is the biggest basis for MJ fan-hood. Thanks especially for the link to the article about philanthropy related to MJ in China; that is thrilling! Although many philanthropic projects are already happening in his name (and I think there is also an orphanage in Haiti), I suspect that even more efforts might be still to come.
    With the L.O.V.E.

  3. Thanks for a great post. I don’t know this song at all, so am going to find it on YouTube and then comment again.

    However, Willa said “He was an artist of a very rare caliber, and a transformative cultural figure who radically changed how we see ourselves and each other. And to be honest, knowing how dedicated he was to his art, I can’t really picture him making a decision different than the one he made. He lived his life with courage and passion and a total dedication to his art, and I’m filled with admiration because of that – as well as sadness for the things he gave up.”

    I am a firm believer in reincarnation, simply because in instances such as Michael it really makes sense to me – how else can one explain so much suffering for one person, or at times so much joy, and I am sure there were times of intense joy of Michael as well – becoming a father was surely one of them.. If one looks at the lives of almost all of the major artists of our time, and over the centuries before, they nearly all had horrible lives for most of the time they were alive – think of Mozart, Van Gogh, Michelangelo just to name 3. I think for the most part, the average person (apart from Hindus and Buddhists) has no idea of such things, and no inclination that they may just have chosen this lifetime. l do believe we chose each incarnation, and I have a feeling that geniuses such as Michael and the like have some kind of instinctual deep knowledge that their lives have a purpose way beyond the norm, or even their own conscious choices. This means that they could go out on a limb and fulfil their “destiny” no matter what the personal cost, because that is what their life was for. They knew that they would leave an artistic legacy that would go on for many years after they had died

    Remember Michael saying on Oprah that he was “an instrument of nature”. I think he knew something on a deeper level, and don’t forget he was very interested in Hinduism at one time.

    I think also that is why we can make such a deep connection to some people, particularly Michael, and I am no exception even though I have only been a fan for 4 years. We resonate at that deep soul level and recognise and understand each other in a place beyond words. I know Michael there and he has changed my world, and I think that he knew that he would have that impact on people through his art and his life’s example – he wanted to be that ‘instrument’.. There would have been many times of deep sadness for Michael, as for most of us though perhaps not on that scale, but he seemed willing to pay the price of his soul journey, and I think often understood that he must. If we feel that way too, then his life is far more inspirational than sad, and his legacy will go on and on as he wanted, as he spoke about.

  4. Here is an interview with Kenny Gamble, the man who helped MJ in writing his first songs:

    ” ‘Message in the music,’ and that’s what Michael wanted to do. He said, ‘Man, you know? I want to do some messages.’

    Judging from heartfelt hits such as “Heal the World,” “Earth Song” and “We Are the World,” which would eventually come, Gamble & Huff set the example and laid the foundation for some of Jackson’s greatest work.

    Jackson’s first effort was the innocent and effervescent “Blues Away,” which would become his first credit as a professional songwriter.

    “Michael wrote that song, and I think McFadden & Whitehead and myself,” said Gamble. “He needed help with it, so we all got in the studio with him because he played piano a little bit. So when he played the song on the piano and he was telling me how he wanted it to go, I said, ‘You do it,’ and I left the studio and let him do it, and he did an excellent job!

    “I came back in when he started to overdub his voice, and he had all these great ideas about how to record his voice, like doubling his voice, doing all kinds of little ad libs and whatever. He had it all thought out in his head. As a matter of fact, they had two songs on each album. They had ‘Blues Away’ and ‘You’ve Got to Change Your Style of Life.’ Michael wrote ‘Blues Away’ by himself. ‘You’ve Got to Change Your Style of Life,’ all the brothers, they wrote it together.”

    • Hi Sandra. Thanks for the background info on “Blues Away.” You know, the two Philadelphia albums don’t get a lot of attention because there weren’t big hits on them, but the more I learn about how the Jacksons, and Michael Jackson in particular, developed over time, the more that seems like a really important time for them, creatively.

  5. Thanks ladies. Another great post!

  6. There’s one interview in the 1980s- can’t remember which- where Michael was asked why he hadn’t gotten married. His reply was that he was “married to his work.”

    • ..and also in the interview with Oprah he answers to the question, whether he will get married someday:
      > Michael : I would feel my life is incomplete if I do not ’cause I adore the family life, I adore children and I adore that whole thing. And I would love to, that’s one of my dreams, but I couldn’t right now because I’m married, I’m married to my music and there has to be that closeness in order to do the kind of work that I want to do and …”

      • Hi dee and all4michael – thank you for the additional quotations. The more I learn about Michael Jackson and how extremely committed he was to his art, the more I see him as “married to my music,” as he told Oprah. And that’s so interesting what he says just after that: “there has to be that closeness in order to do the kind of work that I want to do.” I think “that closeness” is what so many of us instinctively feel when listening to his music or watching his short films, and it’s an interesting mix of empathy with his audience and total dedication to his art.

        btw, CNN recently carried an interview with Raymone Bain, his manager in the 2000s, a time when many people feel Michael Jackson was no longer producing creative work, but she implies he was as dedicated as ever. (She also says, “Michael Jackson didn’t like ‘yes-men.'”) Here’s a link.

        • ..and he made more comments about his „relationship“ to music – or to the arts… For example in Geraldo’s interview 2005 he said: (about being back to the studio) „It makes me feel like I’m totally at home. I’m into my own. Which is what I’m here for. Any of the arts…“ He just was totally committed to his art, he had this passion and thats what you feel in his songs…
          And about him feeling like being „the loneliest person in the world“ I think, he also expressed that feeling in some songs. I always get chills when I hear him screaming „got stop living alone“ at the end of You Are Not Alone. I can feel all his loneliness in those words, which seem to come directly out of his soul… I also think, that at least he found some unconditional love through his children. For me they are the only people who were able to take away some of his lonliness, and gave him just pure love. And only his children were at times more important as his music. But that doesn’t mean, that he was less committed to music and his art – just that he was as committed to his children, than to his other love, and he shared his time between them.

  7. ”someone who accepts you unconditionally, even if they don’t understand you.”

    This made the troublesome lines from Give In To Me pop up in my head:
    ”Don’t try to understand me/just do the things I say”

    I know you already had a discussion about that song – and how it maybe isn’t so misogynistic at all. But it also adds something to this discussion, I think:
    MJ was devoted to his career, and needed people who could help him make his visions come true (”just do the things I say”). He wasn’t looking for a partner in the traditional sense (”don’t try to understand me”) – perhaps knowing that he was too complex for anyone else to really understand him.

  8. “…perhaps knowing that he was too complex for anyone else to really understand him.”

    And haven’t we all been trying for as long as we’ve loved him?? He knew he was called to a mission on this earth; he knew he was compelled to devote his life to his work; he knew the breadth and depth of his talent was beyond what most could even begin to understand which is why he always said it came from “above”. Michael’s life was his art, his calling to heal and his children. There was no room for any more – “but I’m only human” – and I think he knew that from a young age thus the heartbreaking loneliness that no “other” could fill. Empaths feel the pain and suffering of others on a very profound level much different than most and it is impossible to control. It is who they are from very early on. We’ve all heard the stories of Michael’s unusual sensitivity as a child. Given that, I also believe Michael suffered some extraordinarily painful experiences somewhere between his pre-teens and late teens that he knew profoundly changed him and left painful scars that would forever isolate him from others as when Jane Fonda said of her time with him: “That boy suffered from some terrible demons.” That he gave so unselfishly to others is a true testament to the old saying: He who is cast into the fire of affliction is either burnt to a cinder or cast in gold.

  9. Joie said “I sometimes think about Michael’s life, and about how dedicated he was to his art and how much he sacrificed to make us happy, and I feel extremely guilty about how things turned out for him. Does that make sense? And I’ve always wondered if others feel guilty or if it’s just me.”

    Yes, I feel guilty too. I am a year older than MJ, and bought the thriller album when it came out, but sort of forgot about him after that. I would hear about him on the news, all the terrible stories, and half believed them. But then he died and I was torn apart. I didn’t know why I felt so bad, since I hadn’t been following him at all, so I started reading and learning everything I could about him. That is when I started feeling an overwhelming guilt for believing all the lies and not defending him when he was alive. Since then I have tried to make up for not defending him then by defending him now. Too late to save his life, but not too late to save his legacy.

    • “But then he died and I was torn apart. I didn’t know why I felt so bad, since I hadn’t been following him at all, so I started reading and learning everything I could about him.”

      Me, too. Every morning for almost two years I woke up consumed with grief over a man I basically knew nothing about until the day he died.

  10. I believe that even those fans who had the opportunity to follow MJ and be there in almost every concert carry “guilty feelings”. I think most of us carry guilty feelings. I feel guilty about my egoistic thoughts…this is very private and maybe the first time that I say this, but sometimes I think that he could have die after I had the opportunity to see him in London or at least after his first “This is it concert”. This sounds terrible and selfish, but is a genuine feeling after having being his fan for more than 20 years. Some fans feel guilty because they think that they “abandon him” after 1993 or 2005, some fans feel guilty because they denied their fanaticism because they felt embarrassed. I think is important to recognize this feelings and analyze them with a proper distance and move forward.

    • Andrea, I think you are on to something. I think Michael’s death shook a lot of people to the core. And for reasons you are mentioning. I think people feel like they abandoned him. I think some feel like they believed all the lies about him. Most importantly I think people feel guilty because in some small way we were all a part of his demise. We all at some point of a 40 year career took a small piece of Michael, who gave willingly. It’s a very interesting thing to think about – fame, celebrity.

  11. I have also stopped listening to some songs for a long time and then I rediscover them again, specially the Motown songs. About a week ago I bought the “Stripped Mixes” album and I recommend all of you to listen to these songs with good speakers. The purpose of this album is to put an accent on Michael’s voice so they re-mixed the songs again and the result is amazing. Songs like “Ben”, “Who’s loving you” or “Darling dear” make you speechless!!

  12. Remember that Michael’s stardom began with a huge emotional cost, he experienced abuse to the point no one would even like to think. Trauma of this level is indelible, one learns to live with it. I do not know if there are cases in psychiatrical literature stating that this can be deleted. Added to it are Michael’s trials that many believe were a decisive factor in his early demise.

    There is however a silver lining to the stormy cloud, Michael’s enormous capacity to identify with and care for so many during a relatively short life, especially where children are concerned. What strikes me though is that he probably did not meet the type of woman who would share his goal of improving others’ lot and at the same time put up with his type of loneliness or try to alleviate his inner turmoil.

    About fan’s feeling of guilt, the best we can do is spread the truth about Michael and try to follow in his footsteps.

  13. Eleanor’s comment hit my situation on the mark. I of course was aware of his music and liked what I heard over the years but in NO way was I a follower. I saw and heard the media coverage and was bewildered, half believing it as well. When he died you could not walk in a store without seeing almost every magazine with him on the cover, or in some cases special editions on him. I bought everything in sight as I saw this as a significant moment in our cultural history, with seemingly the whole world reacting. I read it all and became hooked. Who was this amazing man, this enigma? I had to know more, and my library of books and videos is now extensive. For approximately 2 years I too went to bed each night feeling grief for a man unknown to me until he died. Now 4 1/2 years out he is still a daily presence for me – listening to his music, reading from my collection on MJ, watching his videos, always seeing something new I had previously missed, etc. I am so glad to have found Dancing with the Elephant and the community I now feel a part of.

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