Old to Joy

Now Playing: Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, the Ode to Joy. What else?

I haven’t blogged for a couple of days. Didn’t Monday for Memorial Day. Didn’t Tuesday and Wednesday because I was busy with a couple of projects. OK, that’s the official explanation. The real truth is that I’ve been down for a few days. Not really sure why. Maybe the ongoing job search and uncertainty. Maybe not. Maybe some more than usual trouble sleeping. Maybe not. Truth is, I’m prone to occasional blue periods, and this was one of them.

Yesterday didn’t seem much different. The world committed all kinds of transgressions against me for most of the day. Damn world.

Still, I was looking forward to going to the James Taylor/Carole King concert last night. I like both artists, though I can’t say either is one of my all-time favorites. Karen and I hoped to take the train to the arena after she got home from work, eat some junky food there and enjoy the music and one another’s company. An old fogey concert. Yeah, but that’s OK.

Didn’t get off to a good beginning, though. Getting there for the 8 p.m. start was going to dicey at best. And then the rains came.

For those of you who don’t live in/near Charlotte, rain is the bane of driving in the Queen City. I’m not sure why. Let a few drops hit the ground and it’s like the King of the Hill episode when a handful of snowflakes fall in Arlen, Texas, causing wrecks in parking lots and runs on groceries.

Anyway, yesterday’s storm – a downpour in the greater south Charlotte area – caused Karen’s commute to nearly double, which meant our only chance to get there on time was to drive and park near the arena.

Except that when she came in the house, Smokey – my least favorite of our three cats – ran out the front door. Which meant I followed him and, with Garrett’s help, chased him back in. Which meant that I got soaked. Which meant I had to change clothes. Which delayed us again.

We left a little after 7, with me wet and still fuming about it. The rain didn’t let up until we were nearly downtown (I refuse to bow to local pressure to call it uptown). But we got to the parking deck, then managed to navigate our way into the arena – it was a late arriving crowd – and got in our seats about a minute into the show. I was still pretty pissed at the damn world.

But then it happened. Almost immediately. I cheered up. And I’m still cheery, despite another lack of sleep.

Why? Because not only were JT and CK good, they exuded a sense of joy about playing and singing together. I know, I know – if you can fake sincerity, you’ve got it made. But one of the things about being a cynic is you possess a pretty good BS detector. And I swear they really were happy about being there.

So was I. I didn’t care anymore about being drenched and rushed and fighting to find a $15 parking spot and eating bad food and everything else that had been bothering me.

I was just happy.

They sang just about everything I could think of, closed with You’ve Got a Friend, encored with a killer version of Up on a Roof and closed for real with my favorite JT song, You Can Close Your Eyes. How cool was that?

I walked out happy, stayed happy as I waited a looooonnnngggg time to get out of the parking deck, kept happy despite a couple of bad turns and even smiled my way through restoring my computer network when I got home.

And you know what? I’m still happy. And I’ll be back tomorrow.

“Joy is not in things; it is in us.” _ Richard Wagner


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