Sunday, January 13, 2008

Remembering how to Love

“I want to remember why I love this city again.”

That was my response to a question about how I wanted to spend my time on vacation. Unlike other vacations I’ve taken in the last few years, this one is extended. I don’t have any extra work I’m doing, I have got nothing but time. Time.


I’m not someone who does well with a lot of free time on her hands, so I make projects, figure out ways to keep busy, get things to do, make a schedule and stick to it. So we planned, Ms. Skimmel and I, we planned and we figured out what to do.

Part of the plan included live music. Must have more live music. I miss my music.

The ever changing state of Korea has fluxed out most of my favorite musicians. The faces change every ten months, and as the faces changes, so do the flavors, and so do the people contributing to the making of a happy open mike night. Right now there is hardly anyone playing at all in the Lonely Hearts Club. Those few souls who do choose to play don’t start until sometime after one in the morning and by that time I’ve fled to bed.

I miss the music.

And so while in this big and bountiful city I have demanded music. A return to the beautiful, the lovely, vibrant Chicago full of music.

The first stop on this trip took us to Martyrs. It is incandescent and lovely when we walk in. A bar that is seven times the size of most of the places I haunt in my far east. The bar is big wooden pillars, candles flickering, a slight chill from all the space, and a vast open stage that daunts the audience to do anything but watch and listen and enjoy.

Music was the order and music was why we went. On Monday nights the music is traditional Irish which is a flavor I haven’t heard live in quite some time. So we sit and order our drinks and a dinner and wait for the band.

Composing the band are two men, the first a bearded troubadour to sing and play guitar; the second a shorn Irish man with a proper fiddle to accompany. The announcement is simple, just the names. The rest is the music.

What lovely music.

I was mesmerized by it, in a way I have not been in a long time. There is a fantastical grace to the way the lyrics are delivered. This is reduction, a room full of sound coming from two instruments. A world created in the fingers and the lungs. This is entertainment of the most ancient kind, produced by our wit and our will, patience, practice, and commitment. It is not just about learning to do it so much as learning to do it well and being willing to share with others.

Definitely among the top ten reasons why I love this city.


Jill said...

Sounds like a good time! (pun intended) :-)

Saradevil said...

You can pun if you want to, it was a good sounding time. I admit it.