This really happened. And now I know why. Let's all be like this in these troubled times...
Asked an old friend, a talented composer, if he was using this time at home to to make more music, as many musicians are.
He is also a Lutheran minister--surprised me when I discovered that a few years ago. Let me back up and tell you the whole story before I get to the thing that inspired that title up there.
It's magic. I promise.
You see, I dreamed him before I met him. You're not supposed to "see" anything you haven't seen before in dreams. But I saw him.
And a few weeks later, I saw him again. In the flesh.
He was a firebrand back in those days. Lanky Nordic blond with a Roger Daltrey mane and a mischievous smile to die for.
It was the time of "Be Ins," out in Lincoln Park--Chicago. Electric wine, free food passed from circle to circle by bare foot Earth mamas.
And drums--always drums.
He would bring his flute and sway to the beat playing "free form" jazz. Women circling. Smiling. Plotting.
Wary of men who attract women that way, I looked on from afar. Wishing a bit, but, as I said...wary.
And busy. A college kid. With places to go. People to be. Love could wait.
And then one day, in a packed "arena" class--one of those huge, required lecture ones they hold in massive rooms on some campuses--the flute man arrived. Very late.
And ambled down the row just in front of mine to the last seat left.
Right in front of mine.
I heard nothing the prof was saying for the next few minutes. Gob smacked.
And it was about to get crazier. As he turned, smiled, and asked, "Got a pen I can borrow?"
Yeah. That happened.
We dated briefly. But he was too hot for me to handle. A wild "Wobblie," hellbent on organizing all the workers in the world and abolishing the capitalist system.
It was, after all, the era of sit ins, walk outs. Kent State.
We lost touch after I begged off. And decades later, as often happens now, we found each other again. I think it might've been Facebook, but I don't remember exactly how.
He married a woman brown like me. And became a minister. Moved to the country back East somewhere. It's as cold there as it is hot here. He chops wood to keep his family warm in winter.
And he still makes music. But for the past few weeks--this is the part that made me want to write this--he has been composing...well...let him tell it:
"What I have done recently is to write several pieces for solo instruments, as in not accompanied. These are for musicians to play who cannot play with others, and for them to play so that their households or their neighbours can hear them, as from balconies, porches, through open windows. I did one for cello, which I also transcribed for viola (an octave above a cello), one for clarinet, which I sent to my sister, and one for tenor recorder, which I sent to an English friend, and to Paula's brother-in-law in Minneapolis, for him to play on soprano recorder (same music, but sounding an octave higher)."
Yes. He's still giving away his music, like back in the park. Passing it on, in this time of isolation and despair, to musicians to serenade us with from balconies, porches...through open windows.
He has changed in some ways. But the free spirit remains.
And remembered, in our time of need, to pass the music 'round like that electric wine and free food back when. To nourish and soothe sore souls.
I dreamed this man, before I met him.
God is great...