Mulling things on my morning ramble with Storm, the family's mixed Lab.
The kind of morning--soggy, gray, temperatures in the 30s--only duck hunters or Leonard Cohen aficionados could love.
I am only marginally either.
But drab morning wore well today, sort of like a dark overcoat.
There was a reason there was no Ramble with Storm was in yesterday.
As promised, late Thursday, I drove our second son and his two fellow band members--David, Dak and David--to Hammond for the acoustic jam/potluck at Paul Henry's Art Gallery.
I met Dave Mueller and his wonderful gallery in a converted hardware store when visiting an exhibit of nature and wildlife art from the Porter family.
The idea of a potluck/acoustic jam intrigued me and the boys in the band were more than up for it.
They normally are banging away on electric guitars and a full drum set in the basement, directly under the laptop I type this on.
For this, they had to go acoustic, two guitars and a tambourine When we got there, Dak switched to the piano when he saw Mueller had one pulled out.
Driving there, the boys practiced a variety of songs. I was glad for the cover of the loud muffler on the van and the noise of their playing and singing.
In the dark, memories came back hard and found myself choking back tears behind the wheel and I hid them under the racket. Those are my memories to sort.
The boys have their own memories to make.
Usually I can keep the memories at bay of that son twice being on the edge of death--11 days at birth at Rush-Presbyterian (I think it is now Rush University Medical Center), then a couple years ago more than a week at St. Joe's in Joliet, after an emergency transport after complications from pneumonia and dehydration.
So the banging on the drums, the playing of guitars, is a bittersweet affirmation of life I can hug.
The boys ate hardily at the jam/potluck and acquitted themselves well enough when they had their shot in the middle of the jam.
Life moves on. One of my favorite points of the night was a 91-year-old who got up and sweetly picked three songs on the banjo. He had been gone for a couple months after he fell through his roof.
I was sitting in back of the space on a folding chair and thinking, ``I hope at 91 I am not pissing down my leg.''
The ride home brought a joy to me I had not felt in a long time, but yesterday morning words and thoughts did not match enough to write a Ramble with Storm.
The only wildlife of the extended ramble this morning was a goose too low to find in the low gray sky.
A perfect transition to my favorite work by Leonard Cohen.