12 April 2008

Workin' them angels (overtime)

When I was a child, my mother had us recite the Guardian Angel prayer every night before bed. She generally contended that God took pity on my guardian angel and assigned me a backup or two.

I guess I can be a lot of trouble. It's not that I try to be trouble. I would rather think that I approach life with a great deal of determination.

And I was so determined these last few days that those angels were probably all on duty.

On Thursday morning, I flew to San Juan, Puerto Rico.

On Friday night, I went to the opening night of the 2008 leg of Rush's Snakes & Arrows tour.

On Saturday morning, I flew home.

My body seems to think it's hanging somewhere around New Orleans. I have no realistic sense of time at the moment and tired is a word without meaning, I'm so far beyond the idea of tired.

But happy. Very happy.

The spouse hates it when I go to concerts alone. It's bad enough, in his view, that I travel alone, but going to a concert alone...

In Puerto Rico...


I don't mind doing things on my own. I love to be with my friends and family, and to share the fun of events with them, but solitude is ok, too. I am less distracted, less easily overwhelmed.

All was well at the show, for the most part. Security was having difficulty maintaining control over the people who pushed into the aisle on which I was seated, and there was some discord and some pushing and arm waving. There was a somewhat unpleasant man sitting near me who refused to understand that I wasn't interested in chatting with him. The hotel dropped the ball sending a cab for me, but several other concert goers and I commandeered another cab to take us all where we needed to go, and I was back at my hotel before midnight, laughing slightly hysterically as I ran to catch the elevator up to my room.

Otherwise, it was wonderful. There is nothing that compares with the sheer pleasure of watching this band play, of listening to this music live. And I was happy that a song I really like has been added to the set, one I've never heard live before. But three hours is never long enough!

There were other reasons that I wanted to go to this particular show, reasons I touched on here. And during an afternoon spent walking through San Juan, I happened upon a very lovely little park called Ventana del Mar. The view of the ocean there was truly spectacular (and a cellphone camera doesn't do it justice). I sat there for a little, serene, while a stiff breeze blew, and I looked at the trees, some bent by the wind, others standing determinedly upright. The air smelled in a very pure way of salt, a smell that conjured up childhood on the Atlantic shore. Far off, the water was calm and green, deceptive, I'm sure, as the waves hit hard against the rocks. It was an appropriate place to recognize that one of the gifts my father gave me was a desire to see all things, to visit all places, to do everything that I can. It was also the right place to acknowledge that he made a choice to stop living his life, and I've chosen to make mine count in every way possible. And it was a good place to let time move forward, to let the old memory of that day go, to allow it to be replaced with lights and music and cheering and wind and water and salty sea air.

And now it's the angels' turn to take a vacation.

Go listen to some good music: "Workin' Them Angels" from the album Snakes & Arrows by Rush.

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