Saturday, August 28, 2010

Nights on the Town

Funny how the definition of this phrase changes when your focuses change. It used to be that a "night on the town" was wild, often blurry and barely remembered whereas now, it's beautifully in focus, sensitively felt and a memory I want to savor.

So my journal now gets to hold such fine reminiscences. One such evening, I'd made mention to my hubby, an intriguing sounding talk at the nearby Rogue Gallery in Medford. It was an African gentleman who's written and illustrated children's books. But what interested me more was that he'd done all his illustrations first in ceramic form, some in clay pots, some on flat tiles. We voted to go and hopped into the car an early evening and arrived in time at the gallery to tour the current show that was up. It was "Dancing with the Muse" and had some very fascinating pieces.

I especially was impressed with what the new director had chosen to do to improve the display and presentation in the gallery. Not only did it look more professional, but it seemed to have grown in spaciousness with the changes. The display of our guest speaker, including his ceramic ware and his wide variety of children's books were a joyful collection. African art is so straight forward and playful, how could it not adapt to children's books perfectly. Bubba Wagua's presentation was more educational than I'd anticipated. He included tales of how and where he was raised, Africa, France and finally the U.S. in addition to history and geography of his village in Africa. Following the tender and funny stories he sweetly read from his books, the slide show he presented taught us that Timbuktu (what we Americans use to infer a "nowhere" land) really was, and still somewhat is, a bustling trade center between Egypt and the Mideast. I don't know if it was his intoxicating African accent or the magic of his stories, but I could have listened to him all night.

Now I'll divulge the wilder evening on the town. All summer we'd talked about adding more live music to our life and finally, come August 5th (hey, the summer isn't quite over) we did. We agreed to meet friends at the Eden Vale Winery (also the grounds of the lovely Voorhies Mansion) for their weekly free Thursday music night. This evening presented the powerful and award winning local blues singer, Karen Lovely. We arrived a tad early, and good thing, as the tables with sun shading canopies were all already taken. We positioned ourselves with a nice view of the stage and nested in to indulge in the Eden Vale food offerings. We shared a chicken salad and a salmon en croit. Both pleasant for a winery menu. Mid-meal Karen took the stage and began warming up the crowd. She's brassy, balls-ey with an incredibly beautiful "Janis Joplin/Bonnie Raitt" voice.

Because this was a family venue, there were numerous groups, some families, other groups celebrating birthdays etc. We were seated near the group celebrating a birthday and of course, the aunts and uncles brought their wee ones. Some were all over the dance floor but, there was one adorable lil' dancer who choose her dance floor right next to us. In her pretty, pink and white polka dot dress she swayed and twirled ~ sending smiles across the audience. I couldn't resist sketching her. I have to admit my friend actually did get me up on the dance floor too. Its been awhile since I bounced and swirled around a dance floor - - but honestly, it really did feel good.

And that's about as wild as it gets . . . sorry to disappoint those of you looking for a racy story. But my life is more filled with simple joys that happen on a daily basis. And I find that very satisfying :)

1 comment:

Katherine Thomas said...

Beautiful, beautiful artwork and prose... I hope you have a wonderful time at your retreat. When you get back, can you tell me what kind of paper pad you use for your journaling? Thanks!