Look backward from any specific moment, and you have lived a life. Doesn’t matter how old you are, whether you’re happy with it or its relative quality, or if you have plans for the day or your future. If you examine what you have lived, you would be surprised by what you know.
Last night, I saw the band Augustana perform at The River East Art Center, (a beautiful place for a gathering) and their lead singer/songwriter, Dan Layus, spoke between songs of his love for his wife and his two young children as he introduced some of the songs he had written with them as his inspiration. I have to go buy some Augustana albums now. I was the older lady, incongruous I suppose, feeling the beat, getting lost in the words, feeling seventeen again at the righthand side of the stage. I’ve always liked to watch concerts that way, up very close. I like to see the artists faces and look into their eyes as they tell me their stories in song (especially their truths) punctuated with the various symbols of the rock and roll arsenal. I want to closely experience it all, from the deceptively simple guitar strum to the welcome knife cut solo that can wound you if you listen with your soul — the scream, the catch in the throat, the moment of silence. Dan said he was twenty-five. I was envious of the love he spoke of, but not in a jealous way. That kind of sure love is just one of the things I want to feel, and feel around me. He also sang a song called “Dust” that I felt keenly as it ripped a path to my heart and made me remember why I love words. Words always express something because whether they stand for what you feel or what you mean, or show how little you regard them, they tell something. Strings of words can be meaningless or ignored, but that doesn’t mean you didn’t say something.
Can I go so far as to say that the evening of July 29, 2010 was important for me? Well it did prompt me to write this, and if writing is something I want to do then this is a great place to practice. Seeing a wonderful concert (free by the way, courtesy of Buick and Thrillist.com— my thanks to you both!) reignited my long-held desire to sing and write songs. Meeting and talking with some friendly people also restores a little of my faith in humankind (which has taken quite a few hits lately.) I’m sorry I’ve forgotten the name of one woman who spoke with me for a while before her friends got there. She was open and friendly. I also had some interesting conversation with another woman named Hanna, who is a fellow blogger here on WordPress. Check out her take on the evening’s festivities at Hannanontana.wordpress.com. Yes, it was an important night for me. When I’m feeling excited and creative I feel powerful and prolific. This day’s creation is this record of feeling that you’re reading now. How far can I go, is the question of my day. I’m still wondering, pondering, excited.
Above, I touched on my seeming incongruity with the others at the front of the small stage last night. I would like to not care how I am perceived, and mostly I don’t. But I live here in this society, so I find myself wondering how I will feel when I’ve lost the excess weight I’ve been carrying for the last few years that has (I believe temporarily) raised my blood pressure, weakened my knees, and made me invisible to most men. If I’m ticked off now because even when I’m looking good most men don’t seem to notice, how will I feel when I get back to the size that got me noticed before and I suddenly have a credibility factor that should actually have more to do with my substance as a woman, than with the particular shape and curves of my vessel. Maybe this doesn’t even matter considering the fact that I’ve decided not to get rid of my gray hair. Yes, there is still an air of seventeen about me. I am still able to cling stubbornly to my desire to change the world a bit, with the sheer force of my own rebellion.