Rumor Has It
Wednesday, December 9, 2020
It’s been a hard year. Even those among us gifted with a surfeit of stamina and natural optimism are feeling rough around the edges. Even though we lead lives that are largely isolated at the moment, we have found ways to connect to each other and those connections are helping to get us through.
To lose someone who effortlessly connected with many of us is always hard, but is especially so under this particular set of circumstances.
Yet that is what has happened. Jonathan Sherman, local musician, longtime Everyday Music mainstay and quiet, steady fixture of so many of our lives, died suddenly on Dec. 1 from a spontaneous coronary artery dissection. It’s an exceedingly rare condition for anyone, but for a man of such rare heart it feels especially cruel to lose him in this way.
In a year in which everything feels just plain wrong, nothing feels more terribly, profoundly wrong than this.
As a musician, though he was involved in many projects both casually and formally, most of us knew Jonathan from stints behind the drums with Falling Up Stairs and more recently the Sheen. He loved to make music and he loved being part of the collective vision that comes with being in a band. But it wasn’t just his own music he enjoyed sharing. He wanted everyone’s lives to be rich with sound and his job at Everyday Music afforded him the opportunity to introduce people to music they’d never heard, albums they’d forgotten they loved, artists that would become favorites and whole genres that needed to be explored. In that way, he was a treasure—a longtime record store employee that was neither cynical nor a snob, who truly just wanted to use music to make people’s lives fuller and richer.
But mostly Jonathan was kind. Deeply, truly, down-to-the-bone kind. Singularly so, in my experience. I’ve certainly never met someone to whom kindness came so naturally and who embodied that quality so unfailingly. Whether you were close friend or occasional acquaintance, he really made the effort to see you, to listen. He took the time, every time.
This world is a hard place. It makes people hard. Yet it did not make Jonathan hard—quite the opposite, in fact. It takes tremendous strength and courage to absorb everything life can throw at a person and meet it with kindness, but that is what Jonathan did. It’s difficult to know how to best honor him and his memory during this fractured and isolated time, especially when we can’t gather as we normally would. But if we meet the world—and each other—with kindness, we’ll get there.