Thursday, August 6, 2009

Singing the Blues with Buddy Guy

We planned our day in Chicago:
an afternoon wandering through the Art Institute
and then an evening listening to the blues
at Buddy Guy’s Legends.

What is it about the blues that I love so much?
I think the movie Adventures in Babysitting got it right.
The children and their sitter find themselves
racing through Chicago on a Friday night rescue mission;
they escape one predicament just to find themselves in another.

But things change when they find themselves in a blues club.
They can’t leave until they sing the blues:
Nobody leaves this place without singing the blues.

They’re slowed down because you can’t escape or run away;
you can only go through what life puts before you.
So Elisabeth Shue (the babysitter) takes the microphone
and tells their woeful story.

It’s amazing what happens when we tell our story.
Things aren’t quite as bad as we thought.
Oh, they may be bad alright,
but naming them takes away ruthless their power.
A little perspective helps too.

This is what I love: when you sing the blues you go through them.
And it’s really the only way.
Oh, I’ve tried other ways. Haven’t you?
The old Spiritual explains it though:
You can’t go around them ‘cause they’re too wide;
you can’t go over them ‘cause they’re too high;
and you can’t go under them ‘cause they’re too low.

So there we were in Chicago
celebrating the blues -- on Buddy Guy’s 73rd birthday.
We showed up early for front row seats,
played pool, and shared our table with new friends.
We sang and listened, laughed and talked.
We shared stories of cancer, unemployment, and new jobs.
We worked our way through the blues
and came out on the other side.

Even news of a positive breast cancer biopsy
could be experienced in a different light.
Our new friend hugged me good-bye
and added through tears, It’s going to be alright.
I pulled back, looked into her eyes,
and saw the strength reflected there.
Yes, I agreed.
It would somehow be alright for them.
For mother and daughter would go through it together.

That’s what the blues brings. Hope.

1 comment:

steiner3206 said...

Ginny, Thank you for sharing your insights. You have a gift for weaving a story. I loved it.

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