I’m sure it’s a crime to enjoy one’s work so much. This week’s jazz course has been nothing short of extraordinary and each day I awaken to a day of joy spread out before me. A joy born from relentless hard work and willingness to grieve, because jazz demands both. And so does Orff or any worthy work, for that matter.
But to feel the way that the blues form, the old standards from the Great American Songbook, the hard-swingin’ Big Band music, played and Lindy-Hopped danced to and the hot Latin groove get into the body and move the muscles and breath and heart-rhythms around is a gift beyond words sufficient enough for gratitude. Each brings out a special combination of emotions and feelings and healings and they all spell J-O-Y. . Each piece, each game, each style a different kind of wave to “wash away the dust of this world.”
And not a private epiphany, but a communal yee-hah!, mixed with the sweat, touch, smiles and amplified energy of 27 other people in the dancing ring. And such a group! Last night went out to dinner with a large group of them and not only marveled at the intelligence, humor, good looks and plain good fun of each and every one, but also the clichéd diversity adding to the mix. Not an ethnic quota for politically correct purposes, but the real deal of shared humanity where person comes first as folks from Venezuela, China, Spain, Japan, South Africa, Germany, Brazil, U.S., young folks, old folks, men, women, black folks, white folks, straight and gay folks, Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, atheist folks sat together over Thai food and had an uproariously great time. Nobody (except me in one moment of noticing) needed to accent their background, but it all came to the table and like the contrasting ingredients in the Miang Kum appetizer, made for a tasty treat, all the different flavors and colors and textures sharing the same spinach leaf and bursting into one taste on the tongue. Delicious!