Tonight I sat in an old theatre and listened to a singer who I’ve heard play dozens of times over more than two decades. His songs are more soulful now. Old tunes have been slowed down, less bounce and more wry reminiscence. Gone are the passionate love affairs and idyllic Midwestern stories of earlier years; in their places are songs of old bones and leaving the party – literally.
Sweeter than the music was being sandwiched between my daughter, Bella, and my love and partner, Chris. His arm hugged around me, and her head rested on my shoulder. When he reached past me to stroke her hair, she leaned back to beam at him. I could not have been more content. Except perhaps when a song about old age and love prompted Chris to draw the crown of my head toward him for a kiss. Except perhaps when my almost-12-year-old daughter and I walked up the aisle (of the same theatre where I watched Grease six times the summer I was 12) and she interlaced our fingers and said, “I’m so glad I’m not embarrassed to hold hands in public.” Me too, my darling.
So thankful for the love tonight.
Wash My Eyes
Wash my eyes that I may see
Yellow return to the willow tree
Open my ears that I may hear
The river running swift and clear
Wash my eyes
Open my ears
Wash this world that is one place
And wears a mad and fearful face
Let the cruel raging cease
Let these children sleep in peace
Wash this world
Let these children
Sleep in peace
– Greg Brown