The iris are beginning to bloom, their dramatic beauty brightening the landscape. So too, my music is making its regular summer appearance, checking that the coast is clear and there are no more looming piles of grading to knock my creative mind off course. I finish a choro tune that has been thwarted again and again this past winter, my attention distracted by some variety of pressing academic duties. But those are packed away now for three months, and the summer languidly beckons me to put metaphorical pen to paper and chase after spritely melodies instead.
Yesterday I went to a funeral for a 101-year-old, the mother of a longtime music friend; today it’s one for a woman even younger than me. She was dear to our friend E, so B, D and I drive north to celebrate her life and mourn her loss with her family and friends. The remarkableness of an individual life is seldom noted until after it has ended, but that seems not to have been the case here. She fought so hard for so long to stay alive and engaged, with her daughters, her world, even after her husband died, tragically a decade even younger. I quietly bear witness to her bravery, and the light she left behind in abundance for those around her to scoop up and shine on their own paths ahead.
Driving to my house, P sees an improbable sign on the wall of a local bar, that Session Americana, one of his favorite groups, will be playing there in a couple of hours. He stops to check, and sure enough they are setting up. Six musicians, all write, all sing, all play at least a couple of instruments. I’ve never heard them, and we sideline our rather pedestrian plans for the evening to substitute great live music instead. Always the right choice. Here’s a song they played, from their recent CD.