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Post details: Happy Birthday, Katrina

Happy Birthday, Katrina

The Spanish director Louis Bunuel once observed that we are what we remember. Indeed, it is our memory what gives our judgement a sense of perspective. Our own recollections define the props on the stage of our mind, some twisted into caricatures of the real events, some blown out of proportions by anxieties, some meticulously trimmed like little bonsai trees for all to admire.

However, how this whole system works is completely beyond me. There are certain things which simply won't register. Like do you write "occasion" or "ocassion"? I must have looked this word up kazillion times before I got it somewhat right. Or so I hope. On the other hand, other bits of information just kick the mental door open and jump right in - uninvited, almost against my will.

When Rick Wakeman recorded his "Return to the Center of the Earth" (a daring attempt at an epic rock cantata), he commissioned its vocal parts to several artists. Some of them known, some of them less so. When I read the cover, I noticed that my favorite piece (Ride of Your Life) was sung by a female singer named Katrina Leskanich. Interesting name I thought...

As luck would have it, shortly afterwards I was returning from Baltimore with a friend of mine and radio played "Walking on Sunshine" - one of those perky songs that can single handedly brighten your day. Especially when the volume is turned up to a generous level. My friend remarked that this song was recorded in the 80s by the band named "Katrina and the Waves". Hmmm, I said to myself - there cannot be two Katrinas in the small world of rock'n'roll.

I googled around for a bit and indeed: it was the same Karina Leskanich who lent her voice to Wakeman's Masterpiece. And as I was reading her bio, I noticed that she was born on April 10th, 1960 in Topeka, Kansas. An information of absolutely no use to me. But as I read that line I could almost hear a snap inside my head. Somewhere in its perplexing maze, bunch of neurons loitering about decided they had some extra synaptic capacity to spare and made a connection. Instantaneously, I felt that date imprinted in my permanent memory. So from that day on, whenever April 10 comes along, I know that somewhere on this planet the woman who gave us the Sunshine is celebrating.

Happy Birthday, Katrina.


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