Saturday had all the makings for a disheartening, self-pitying, miserable day. It rained hard and constantly before, during, and after sunrise. I didn't want to get groceries but could put it off no longer. And I had obligations to fulfill.
At four in the afternoon I was supposed to be in Cambridge, attending the launch of a volume of poetry by a friend. I had promised a ride to two local friends so I couldn't honestly excuse myself. We went. The reading, surprisingly enough, was warm and moving. Hmmm.
After dropping off one of us at home, my other friend and I continued on to join Hamilton Blues Lovers at a series of acts at the Burlington Sound of Music Festival, blues at the OLG stage. I didn't want to put up with loud music, crowds, wet grounds and more rain butI had chosen the event for the HBL and therefore again felt some obligation.
The music did its magic. It lifted me up out of my funk. By the end of the evening I was rocking and bopping in my shoes. Driving home I was filled with a sense of satisfaction I had no reason to expect.
It reminded me of a poem I wrote some years ago about the tedium of daily living. I ended with:
All I really need
is a course of Oscar Peterson's piano,
with Odetta's contralto on the side,
and a helping of (your) poems
It still works. The combination of words and music takes me out of myself into an existence I can reach no other way. Words and music. Poetry and the blues. Oh yeah.