Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Singing the Blues

“After we became a couple, she composed our time together. She planned days as if they were artistic events. One afternoon we went to Tybee Island for a picnic; we ate blueberries and drank champagne tinted with curacao and listened to Miles Davis, and when I asked the name of her perfume, she said it was L'Heure Bleue.  

    She talked about 'perfect moments.' One such moment happened that afternoon; she'd been napping; I lay next to her, reading. She said, 'I'll always remember the sounds of the sea and of pages turning, and the smell of L'Heure Bleue. For me they signify love.” 
—Susan Hubbard, The Society of S
I am drinking a new tea called Happiness, green tea and green roibos flavored with fresh fruits and flower petals—as I always try, when visiting Boston, to walk up Joy Street. 

And I’m singing the blues.  The blue of these delphiniums, the blue against the evil eye, the blues of Greek Island doors, blue-striped espadrilles, the blue jays in the garden that are eating all the plums, my favorite Salinger story:  DeDaumier Smith’s Blue Period, the blue of ache, the blue of smoke and smoulder, the blue of turquoise strands that were my mother’s, the blue jeans from her drawer, the lovely chain of stories:  The Blue Train, this day that is not blue in its sky just in the blue of preparation to go far from here without choosing my course. 

Blues are celebratory, calm, or deeply tinged with suffering.  They raise the spirits while not losing sight of the sadness within.

“I'm a bluesman moving through a blues-soaked America, a blues-soaked world, a planet where catastrophe and celebration—joy and pain—sit side by side. The blues started off in some field, some plantation, in some mind, in some imagination, in some heart. The blues blew over to the next plantation, and then the next state. The blues went south to north, got electrified and even sanctified. The blues got mixed up with jazz and gospel and rock and roll.”—Cornel West, Brother West:  Living and Loving Out Loud, A Memoir

“What I can play is blues. She was never that into blues. I can salve with Lightning and Cotton, BB and Clapton and Stevie Ray. I can blast Son Seals singing Dear Son until the coyotes in the creek raise up a sympathetic sky ripping interpretation of the harmonica solo. Piercing howls and yelps. Sounds like it’s killing them and also like they love it. Which when you get right down to it is the blues.”—Peter Heller, The Dog Stars

image:  Provence Mon Amour


  1. i like your blues.
    even better than the famous people quoting.
    but then.
    i think of you as famous.
    and happiness tea.

  2. I am at least famously happy to have such kind readers!