October 29, 2018

stare right at me, jim lauderdale

I'm walking off the exit ramp after riding the roller coaster, turning around and looking up and thinking, "Seriously, I was on that thing?"

Now I can catch up, turn around and look up and down and back, a little breathless from riding the loops of suicidal thoughts and hypomania, but able to take in everything I missed in the meantime.  The bluegrass festival.  Molly making it safely through healing from surgery.  Good meetings at work, good talks with friends, and things hanging fire and all that I've neglected while plunged and tossed.

Last night, P.J. queued up Jim Lauderdale on Spotify in the living room, so I could listen while playing on my laptop.  She remembered that at the bluegrass festival in September, I'd been enamored of him ... that's not quite the phrase, really; something about his brown-eyed gaze is piercing, when he looks right at you.  There's a hit-you-dead-on honesty in his face, and at this concert, he was hamming up the facial expressions something fierce.

The man wears outlandish clothing ... that particular night it was a shiny purple jumpsuit that Elvis would have envied.  I don't know much about him, his eccentricities, his lifetime of work, but apparently he's been at this for decades and his repertoire, based mostly on Americana, also includes country music.

I forgive him for that.  I'll even endure it.  Last night, P.J. found for me the song he played last month at the jam session following the main festival events (we scored tickets) ... "In The Pines" ... pure-strain old-time music that's basically the opposite of everything I listen to, but his voice cuts through and grabs me.  He draws out the notes ....

"In the piiiiiines, in the piiiiiines,
Where the suuuuun never shiiiiines,
And we shiverrrrrrr when the collllllld wind blooooowwws."

When he was singing or talking on stage and he appeared to look at me, sitting in the smaller audience, and held his gaze, I felt like he could see right into me, like he knew things.

I've talked before about how resistant I am to admitting new books, music, ideas in to my heart and mind, that a thing has to find a chink in my protective armor to reach me.  He found it.  I know I'm about to plunge into his music and grant him short-list status.  It was one hell of a stare.

P.S.  I just looked at his tour schedule and he's going to be on a cruise ship at the end of January out of Tampa ... I need to ask P.J. what possible reason we might have not to bugger off and be on that ship with him for days ... well, yeah, and some other people, too, but whatever.  Can someone please come look after our dogs?

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