Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Grab the joy

A few months ago my friend Jen was posting on Facebook about how Sam Bush was going to be playing in Charlottesville (where she lives).  I love Sam Bush, and commented that when I was 17, he and the other members of New Grass Revival (Bela Fleck, John Cowan and Pat Flynn) had come out to India as part of a USIA cultural exchange, and that after playing a show at the Maurya Sheraton, they all came over to my house for a chili dinner.  After much back and forth, I checked my calendar, saw that the weekend of his Charlottesville show was on a kid-free weekend, and bought a plane ticket.  Music, reconnecting with my sorority peeps that live in Charlottesville, a weekend away - perfection.

As the time drew closer, I was excited to see my college friends and go to a show, but was lamenting the fact that it's a lot of travel time and plane tickets are expensive and I've got so much shit to do around the house.

But oh my god I'm so glad I went.

It's so amazing to reconnect with old friends from college - we all keep in touch and have been to (or in) each other's weddings and celebrated births and career accomplishments, but we don't get to see each other in person that much.  As with my India friends, there's something so special about being with people who have known you and loved you forever.  You reminisce, you revive old jokes and stories of crazy college antics and catch up on who is doing what.  You laugh and laugh.

Saturday we saw an incredible photography exhibit at UVa.'s art museum and then had lunch at a restaurant at which we had once used fake IDs to buy beer.  I bought a University of Virginia car decal at Mincer's, which has been selling (overpriced) Virginia paraphernalia since before my dad was a student there.

The University is so beautiful, even on a cold, cloudy fall day.

Saturday night was the Sam Bush show.  I had stayed at my friend Nica's house on Friday night, but went to Jen's on Saturday because Nica wasn't going to the show and Jen lives within walking distance of the venue, so it just made sense.

It's a great gift to have the realization that you're experiencing an epic night while you're experiencing it.  By the time I fell into bed at 1:45 in the morning, buzzing from tequila and dancing, I had been smiling and laughing for approximately 5 hours.  It started before the show, at the apartment of one of Jen's friends, where I met a bunch of wonderful new friends and fell in love with them immediately.

It continued at the Jefferson, where Sam Bush and his band put on an amazing, high energy show that had me jumping and dancing and grinning from ear to ear.  I do love bluegrass music beyond all sense.  More than any other genre of music - and I pretty much love them all except maybe death metal - bluegrass makes my heart feel like it's flying with joy.

We ended up at the Whiskey Jar, where one of my new friends bought me tequila.  We giggled about life and men and music and sex, and we could not stop guffawing over the dude who thought that my Notorious RBG shirt was about Biggie Smalls rather than Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and who proceeded to rap toward the general vicinity of my boobs until I patted him on the shoulder, said, "ok, buddy, that's enough," and sent him on his way.

It's been a rough year, particularly the last couple of months.  But I can't function in a perpetual state of grief and sadness.  I still grieve, and I'm still sad, but life is for the living, to be savored.  There is so much beauty and goodness and fun in the world.

Sometimes you just need to cut loose and dance and giggle and drink too much and stay out too late. The shit will still be there when you wake up the next morning.

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