Went to a SF symphony concert tonight. I was late because I was across the street singing an impromptu jazz set in an upscale restaurant. My husband outed me as a singer and after the first song they wanted me to do a whole set. Singing now is like slipping into my favorite pair of old jeans. Comfortable, familiar and my voice is just fitting and moving wherever I need it to go. (Unlike my body or the jeans I normally wear these days). The guys I was singing with were cool and gave me the impression they would have let me sing all night, which was ironic since one of my selections was "The Lady is a Tramp" so singing the lyric, "I love the theater but never come late" made me come late to the theater.
I went with my almost grown son (my husband took the sacrifice fly home to watch the younger kids). I don't think my son and I have gone anywhere I wanted in years. He is about 3 months from being out of the teens and he has not liked hanging out with me until recently. It was a real treat. We don't really look alike now that he is all scruffy and manly. It was great to be seen with him and have people wonder if I had hired this handsome young escort for the night (I can read bubbles over people's heads).
It was also great because he notices things I have seen for years but never really seen and he asks me about them. And since he is grown, I don't have to shhhsh him or stick a life saver in his mouth for these great questions and funny images he mumbles to me. What a gift. We can get disciplined together instead.
Some of his questions I could answer like what the wild waving of the conductor's hands meant. Others I could not, like if the instruments are really so temperamental that they need to be tuned between movements. He noticed the sound shields moving (I guess that's what they are called) and I have noticed them for years, too, but was too busy thinking they look like something form Star Wars to wonder what they were doing. He noticed the guy who played the cymbals just sitting back there doing nothing. After stifled laughs imagining he was the triangle player and had 1 note to play, we were even more amused to hear him do 3 cymbal crashes. Period. While the whole string section was killing itself and the woodwinds were blue in the face, this guy sat there until a measure before his entrance and then banged the cymbals 3 times. BANG BANG BANG DONE. We wondered if he got paid the same as everyone else.
We also got busted by the usher for leaning too far forward in our front row balcony seats. This is a first in all the years I have attended concerts. I wondered if it was because my son was under dressed, has a streak of blue in his hair and we came in after the first piece. Whatever the reason, we complied and then had a good laugh about her job as an official from the Department of Erection Correction.
A perfect evening in my book (or my blahg)
There are still lots of things that suck about life. My back doesn't like me anymore so I shot it. I am numb (cortisone/epidural) where I hurt. The rest of my body is taking up the cause of my angry back. So I hear from my hips and my neck and my shoulder and my leg; all members of this tight knit group who can no longer remain silent. My right leg feels like it belongs to someone else and she weighs 400 lbs and wants to go in a different direction than I do. With the cortisone shot, lack of activity, anti-inflammatory water retention, and comfort food intake, it is possible I may grow into that leg and weigh 400 lbs some day (God I hope not, no offense to any who do). AND YET, the joy of music and my family far outweigh the far out weight and other things going wrong lately.
Funny how little things made me crazy before the big things came and made me sane.
I am enjoying lots of opera gigs and surprise jazz gigs and recording and teaching and my kids and they all make my back side take a back seat. Funny how that works. My family is not easy to juggle or keep up with, but they are slowing down for me and learning to juggle a bit more themselves. The rotting carcass that sits at the place at the table where my husband used to sit worries me. I tell him so, but I am not sure he can hear me with the buzzing of all those flies. I catch a glimpse of him on the weekend wearing a thinner, wearier husband suit; but I think that is just the life of a busy business executive daily executing his business working his fool head off while I sit around waiting for my turn to crash the cymbals.
Some how, it all works. Even the stuff that doesn't work, seems to be the dissonance that creates the need for resolution that will feel so good when we hear it that we can almost appreciate the tension preceding it. It's good to recognize this I think, though easy to miss. Life is so noisy and the thoughts in my head sound more like the tunings between movements than the carefully crafted notes of a genius composer.
Tonight, however, with my babies (four of them from 1-19) and my zombie prince formerly known as my husband, sleeping soundly through the symphony in my head; all is harmonious and rhythmic and beautifully dynamic. I welcome and appreciate it all from the ppp of the strings to the scream of the piccolo or the crash of the cymbals and I thank the Maestro for keeping it all together.