Sometimes you get to hold in your hand a little piece of what makes the world work for you. Every so often you get a glimpse of the unfiltered light of a sun that usually seems so distant it might not even be real. Something as simple as a song — maybe just the words, maybe just the melody — can sound so right that it warms a cold place in your heart. A grand gesture isn’t necessarily any more meaningful than a single thought, if the thought is one that connects you, or at least makes you feel connected.
I’m past the point of believing wishes make dreams come true. My life is pretty well settled into what it’s going to be until, you know, it’s time for the tubes. I’m okay with that, but that doesn’t mean I don’t hope for one of those singular moments every once in awhile. Just like bad things, good things can happen whether we deserve them or not. What’s hard to do sometimes is not to wallow in the bad, and to remember to savor the good while it lasts.
The song I mentioned? For me, sometimes it’s “Before the Deluge,” by Jackson Browne, and sometimes it’s “Gypsy Davy,” by Arlo Guthrie. Often it’s “Rocket Man” or “Margaritaville.” There are a handful of entertainers that I would go far out of my way to watch perform, because I know they’re in that magical category that transports me beyond myself. Paul Simon (“Diamonds on the Souls of Her Shoes”) is one. James Taylor (“Carolina in My Mind”) is one.
Last night Mom and I took the bus to Berkeley to see Garrison Keillor’s one-man show. He’s another one. For two hours I was transported while he sang his songs and told his stories of Lake Wobegone. He’s unlike any other performer around, telling gentle stories with good humor and compassion for all humanity. I’ve been a fan for as long as he’s been on radio on Saturday nights, and it was an evening I always wanted but never expected, to be entertained by one of those few individuals who move my soul. I’m still smiling.