Friday, December 21, 2007

We had the world's best holiday party last night, filled with wonderful friends, good food, and lots of MUSIC. C had fixed up the dining room with mikes, speakers, etc., and the grand piano and the upright are in there. He'd also built a movable dolly for the Hammond organ. Guests included several keyboard players, a violist, a guitarist and a bunch of great singers.

The music didn't start until failry late in the feast--after seven thirty or eight. Then C nodded to his friend Loren, Amar picked up his flute and Sahib Amar got her viola out. Later, Lisa Zeiler joined the party. C had been longing to jam with her, and she was equally happy to play with him.

I love watching musicians "talk" to each other through the medium of their instruments. Far more communication is exchanged, more deeply and more efficiently than words could ever convey. I watched C at the grand piano, and Amar at the upright. Little nods and smiles and looks flashed between them as one held onto the bass line and the other improvised, and then they changed roles, without missing a beat.

It was a pleasure also to see my friends and C's friends meeting and mingling. Folks from Juvenile Hall, poets, lesbians, dancers, old boyfriends and girlfriends, former students and teachers and massage therapists. The room was crackling with the warmth of new and old connections.

C made his peerless meatloaf, as well as black bean soup with pork sausage in it. I made brussel sprouts with slivered almonds and cheese--we had salad and bread, good cheese, hummus, olives, latkes, dolmas, and dark chocolate. And plenty of wine and beer and sparkling cider. We agreed we'd hold more of these parties--the house is big enough, and everyone seems to enjoy them. Maybe once a month or so, depending on other factors. It's such a privilege and a joy to gather good musicians together and let them losse on one another. And it's a mitzvah to create diverse community in these beleaguered and lonely times.

After the party ended, and we were cleaning up, our housemate Libby's shower overflowed, flooding stinking black water all over her bathroom. C tried to snake it but to no avail. We ended up staying up till midnight, emptying her shower with buckets, and mopping the floor. This morning, a plumber came with a power snake and got it cleared out, with the cheerful information that I'd need to replace lengths of the old pipe to the tune of $2800.00. When he heard that, C suggested we invest instead in a set of our own plumbing tools and some instructional videos and learn how to do the work ourselves. I'm dubious but willing. It's an old house; I've been told the pipes would need replacing sometime. But maybe he's right and this is a chance to learn something new.

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