Friday, September 18, 2009

An Enchanted Evening Listening to the Women Sing

I know. I said I wouldn’t attend a gathering that was exclusive. But, hey, I’m a woman, exercising my right to change my mind. And I’ve had several lines of a poem I’m revising rattling around in my head that begins “sister songs, so full of grace”, so I felt an almost urgent need to be within a group of women singer- songwriters, hoping to be inspired to find a way out of that poem.

Their gathering in no way mirrors the Songwriters Woodshed, and that was a nice contrast for me. They take turns playing their own material or whatever else they wish to play. Others play along, add harmony. I so wished I’d learned to play guitar or could carry a tune. At times it was damn near painful only being able to sit there and tap my foot.

It was a delight to hear some songs by songwriters I was not familiar with as I am not fond of listening to the radio. Once I stopped working, buying CDs became one of the vices given up and the library’s selection of music is…well….pedestrian at best. I enjoyed hearing some “new” voices, at least for me.

I hadn’t expected to be taken down two very emotional memory lanes with their music that left me rattled far into the night.

Eugenia played and sang so beautifully in Spanish, reminding me of the month so very long ago….in 1988, in what seems now like another lifetime for me….when I lived in Bolivia for a month as part of my job then. Tony, Kathy and I would sneak out of our quarters at night and wander down side streets we’d been told not to go on to listen to local music. I was instantly taken back to LaPaz when Eugenia strummed her guitar, wondering what had happened to those two old friends and the others who had been with us on that trip. Was the gentleman who crafted one of my silver bracelets still making his amazing jewelry in his tiny little shed? Was his donkey still as ornery? Did it still smell so green there? How was it possible I’d done all that? And why did I not remember more of the Spanish I’d had to learn to exist in those lush surroundings? Why had I never made it back there?

And Jo sang a rendition of Tennyson’s “Crossing the Bar”. She did it in honor of someone she knew who had passed away. I’d never heard it done as a song. I know the poem by heart though. It was Grandma Thelma’s favorite. I recited this poem at her funeral, the first eulogy I was asked to do. I was in my twenties then and foolish enough to believe that this would be the only eulogy I’d ever have to deliver.

I thoroughly enjoyed Joanne’s version of my all-time favorite Lucinda William’s song “Essence” and thank Melissa for playing Mary Chapin Carpenter’s haunting “Grand Central Station”. Although I find the original work I hear from these musicians always to be very good, Wendy’s “Put On Your Seatbelt” was by far the best song I’ve heard from almost anyone in a very long time. I think it knocked everyone’s socks off…..I’m so glad she decided to sing it.

I loved the easy atmosphere found with this group and hope to find myself in their midst again. Maybe by then I’ll have finished my poem and can share it with them.


Wendy said...

Please please share your poem. I am certain everyone would love it. I am trying to get my friend Kristen and her girlfriend Kim to go. Kim also writes some poetry. I think spoken word would really add something to the group.

Wendy said...

I meant Kristen writes poetry. Kim is a visual artist she paints and draws amazingly well.

Eugenia said...

I'm very glad you enjoyed our songs, I'm also looking forward to read your poetry. Thanks for sharing your memories it made me remember my land and my culture.

Sunny said...

Thanks,Wendy and Eugenia, for reading. Your music stay with me....