Friday, July 2, 2010

Day 2 of Year 2: Counting and Kvelling

We musicians get into all the best places.

Yesterday, we played at the Plymouth Farmer's Market. It was a lovely, sunny, dry day, in the lower 80s, and our makeshift stage under an EZ-Up tent was at the end of the market, right next to the ocean. A light breeze was blowing, and combined with the hundreds of moving feet in the market, it meant that all of the dust came right to us en route to the ocean, which was directly behind us.

We played for a couple hours, picking jigs, reels, hornpipes and tunes from a set list that our compadre fiddler Denya the Fabulous and I put together a couple of years ago. We'd play a little, chat a little, play some more. Suddenly, Denya turned to me, put her hand over her microphone so it wouldn't pick up her voice, and leaned over. "You know, I was just thinking..." I put my hand over my own mic, too, and leaned in to hear her.

She continued, "I was thinking about how lucky I am. To play such wonderful music with friends, in such a gorgeous spot, next to the ocean... I mean, look at this place!" She gestured behind us, where white sailboats drifted against the steel blue ocean. A half mile away, across the bay and against the horizon, the bright green beach grass and wheat-white sand of Long Beach peninsula shone in the sunlight. Then she gestured across at the stands in the market: farmers, cheese makers, bakers, artisans, chefs. "This is gorgeous!"

While she was kvelling, I had been kvetching. Thinking about all the dust and about how it might affect my lungs. Wondering how the dust would look on my sparkling new (used) Jeep parked right behind us. (I'd only picked it up at the dealer a half hour before the gig.) Thinking about how my fingers hurt a bit from two days in a row of long performances. Wondering if the sound system was adequately projecting our "real" sound, or whether it was tinny... Wondering if anyone was even listening to us, and if they were, did they like it?

What I had forgotten to ask is, "Aren't we fortunate?"

Thank you, Denya, for bringing it all back home. We all need friends like Denya in our lives--not for kvetching but for kvelling.

May I kvell? Denya, we are blessed to know you.

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