Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Three Wise Men

As I watched three men playing their respective instruments, I was immediately stricken with the looks of abject pleasure on their faces. The guitarist smiled joyfully as he effortlessly switched styles and strumming patterns; the upright bass-player furrowed his brow as he sung along to keep pace with his walking basslines; and the accordian player assumed the air of a mad genius as he alternately intently focused on the manuscript paper and closed his eyes, caught up in, as the poet has said, the closest thing we mortals can come to heaven while on earth.

I remembered the feeling of playing bass while a friend jammed on guitar some time after midnight one morning twelve years ago, the frets and chord progressions having started to make intuitive rather than analytical sense, the practice time coming to fruition, the joy of being capable in a world that I had lacked capacity in previously. I too closed my eyes and smiled as I saw Saint Peter in this place where I'd never grow old.

I saw these three wise men, each with his gift more precious than gold, frankincense, or myrrh and I told myself that I yearned for an outlet currently, but what I really wished for was a chance to go back and re-live that mild, ineffable winter's night of years ago.

As another poet has said, I guess this is growing up.