Last night I had the most wonderful experience: music. You see, being from California, I'm quite addicted to the availability of music — live bookstore and coffee-shop music. Here in Augusta, Georgia, that sort of thing is rare, if not actually endangered.
Julia Easterlin is a vocalist, guitarist, and pianist — I don't know how she'd classify herself, but I'd say folk. The performance at Borders was two whole hours, with the first hour being her own original music — guitar, piano, cello (her cellist was fantastic as well), and of course her lovely voice and piercing poetry. The second hour was jazz standards sung again by her and Tom (I didn't catch his last name, but his singing and piano work were quite enjoyable). However, as much as I like jazz, there's a depth to new, original music that the standards can't tap . . . the first hour was definitely the most rewarding.
The song that struck me the most was "Dandelions and Daisies": it was my youth encapsulated. I remember when not a whole lot mattered but dandelions and daisies, playing, joyfully existing, running and hiding and exploring unknown secret worlds in the hedges and ravines, and falling down and getting hurt and not having to care too much about it. I remember when my friends started to abandon me: to become teen-agers while I never saw a point in acting dumb or doing drugs or dating around or being quarterback or leaving simplicity behind. I remember when "being little wasn't such a bad thing:" I still know it's not such a bad thing, and rather despise those who think it is.
You see, when my friends thought they were growing up, they were merely trading their young wisdom and experience for a life of new experiences — and their concomitant foolishness. It's kinda funny that refusing to "grow up" so fast can leave one more grown-up than those so hastily fleeing childhood.
I caught myself remembering while she sang: remembering life at eight and eighteen and two months before I graduated from college. And while I listened, I could see the dim canopies of eucalyptus with the thick, rich, fragrant leaf-blanketed floors and cliffs to scale and forts to build and cliffs to jump from into the welcoming softness below.
It's been too long since I was eight years old. Too long since I was ten. And even two long since I was just myself then instead of myself now. Yesterday night I was once again eight, ten, fourteen, simply then. I remembered the importance of just being, and of romping and frolicking occasionally.
And most of all, I remembered that those who decide to grow up are those who remain immature and shallow.