yesterday. The weather was unseasonably warm. The sun was shining. A dog lay sleeping on the couch and outside the birds gathered their sustenance from a feeder without care, just like Jesus said.
It was just the two of us, people who wouldn’t have known each other except for the coincidence of history and music, going through the catalog of songs gone by. Nothing of ours is that modern and even the modern stuff is written to sound old. We’re old too, old and free from the need to shake our asses on stage or try to thrill people we don’t know, or maybe even care to know. A porch is fine with the trees for an audience and the wind for applause.
One song followed another in elegant simplicity. The best music seems to be that way, not a flurry of notes but each one picked specifically for its part, for its emotion. Songs from the mountains. Songs from New Orleans. Songs that really were prayers. Songs that made one wonder about the moment they came into being, the day, the hour, the flush of emotion that gave them light.
For that time, sitting on the porch with the dogs and the sun and the birds and our thinning hair, there was a great peace. Stuff was happening. Stuff is always happening. There was a world out there but there was a boundary too, an invisible line of music across which things troublesome were afraid to cross. Heaven must be, in part like this.
In truth its the only reason I would like to have some real money, so I could have a porch in the sun, a few old dogs, and enough time to sit and play the old songs with friends. Everything else is just a chase, running around a track set up by another to try to get to a destination of someone else’s choosing.
The world is, more or less, mad as a hatter. Except on front porches where people play old songs in the warm afternoon sun.
One thought on “It Was a Quiet Afternoon…”
I’m a Singer, Padre. Trained, once upon a time, at Indiana University for “bigger things” than the stuff that gentles my heart. It is as you wrote: nothing is finer than the music that comes outside of the gig. On the porch, with friends, working through a book, gently singing for each other; for God; for the sheer delight of giving back, in paltry thanksgiving, the beauty of the Gift that has been given…a Lifetime of thanks for a lifetime of delight.
Thank you for reminding me to always give thanks for the “real” Gift in the silence and away from the noise…