I wrote this in 2013 but remains true for me, and so I post again.
New Orleans provides a sound track for your life.
A marker of time that you can sing along with and remember where you were, what you were doing, who you were with and how much love was around you at that time,
all set to a melody you can remember and maybe even dance to.
Jazz Fest is the height of that season in New Orleans.
It is Spring and the city is a smile.
For two weeks, the morning rush hour from Thursday through Sunday is not of folks getting to their jobs or work but of getting to see, hear and feel as much music as they can and what a remarkable thing that is in this world.
Even on the days you are not going it is a comforting and lovely sight to watch unfold, to stir the spirit of adventure within you and make you long to be there among your friends, rain or shine. Especially on the days when you have no intention of going, the longing to be there is part of the magic of not going that day.
Yes the city is packed with too many people and my favorite restaurants are unapproachable but it’s a small price to pay for two weeks of having the city soaked in the vibe of hope and possibility.
The streets and clubs bursting with music, smiles and people who have come from all over the world because they believe in the magic of New Orleans and need a transfusion in their souls of the boundless passion promised in the music. The unbridled joy of giving yourself over to the next song.
People say the word “love” more often in this two weeks than almost any other time of the year.
I “love” this band,
I “love” the crawfish strudel,
I “love” the mango freeze,
I “love” when the indians go by,
I “love” that hat you’re wearing,
I am “loving” this weather,
I “love the Economy Hall Tent/Jazz Tent/Gospel Tent/Blues Tent,
I would “love” a Strawberry-Lemonade right now,
mmmm I am “loving” this frozen cafe aulait,
I “love” the dancing,
I “love the crafts booths”,
I “love” this year’s poster,
I “love” Jazz Fest,
I “love” you.
You hear that last one most often at Fest from friends greeting friends, “love you” and if there are two words that can save a life, could maybe save the world, “love you” may just be those two words.
With so much love in the air it’s easy to see where all the smiles are coming from.
Friends from all over the world arrive to hug, stand side by side and simply listen to the same music, breathe the same air and in some cases have conversations that last not much longer than, “it’s so wonderful to see you.”
What else need be said?
I wish there were more time to spend with each of them, but that is the way with life in this world because I will always wish for more time.
One more song,
one more dance,
one more hug,
one more taste…
of it all.
Jazz Fest is life intensified,
life turned up to 11,
life one louder,
it’s a beautiful thing.
We are exhausted by the end but it is the finest kind of exhaustion, one born of having done until you can’t do any more and the doing was all fun for fun’s sake.
The conversations have turned to getting rest, sleep, losing some Fest weight.
We mention in passing returning to work but it is given a nod because we are still lost in the revelry of doing and it is more fun to recount how tired two weeks of fun has made us than to think how tired one day of work will feel.
Voices of some friends have been reduced to hoarse whispers but the smiles come through the whispers, the laughter ripples even through the sweet sadness of parting.
We know there is next year.
The countdown has already started.