I played for free the other day. I walked into a nursing home and played music for the denizens’ monthly birthday party. I enjoyed the hell out of it. I played a lot of the old songs I love best – Frank Sinatra stuff, Big Rock Candy Mountain (the real version!), and old Carter family songs. And after all these years of performing, I finally realized how my music could be a gift to people.
The assembled folks had no expectations about my music prowess, and I had no expectations of how I was supposed to smite the crowd. They were glad to have someone there to liven up the place, and I was glad to be that person. They love music, and I love music, and we found common ground. We celebrated the joy of sharing beloved tunes, the unifying power of rhythm and heart-felt lyrics.
I have been feeling kind of lost and down lately. Bad news on the radio about war and the state of the earth doesn’t help, and sometimes I don’t know where to put my feet. When I feel rattled and jumpy, the best thing for me is to serve others. So I arranged this visit to Potomac Falls Health and Rehab for my own well-being, honestly. For that one hour, sharing music with strangers who quickly became friends, I knew I was in the right place and I knew that I was doing my bit to nudge the joy needle in an upwards direction. I can’t put a price on that.
I’m going back for the next batch of birthdays.