Monday, April 11, 2005

When life begins to feel like a Dar Williams song

Spring is maybe finally here in New York. There are glorious flowers everwhere. While getting iced coffee with soy milk (!) at Whole Foods at 14th street today, I looked out at all the daffodils and forsynthia in Union Square. So nice to see all that color. I had a similar reaction while looking out at the Robin's Egg blue and orange sunset yesterday behind Grant's Tomb. The cool green grass and white blossoms on a delicate tree just made everything seem right. The long, inky and thin branches of still-barren branches reached up to the sky making me think that the impossible can happen. Soon those branches will wear leafy green and provide shade for picnics and impromptu concerts.

A couple years ago, I saw Dar Williams perform in Concord, NH. It was a really unexpected event. A new friend had bought tickets for friends who bailed on her so she needed her money back and she wouldn't mind going with a posse of friends. Well, Paloma, a friend of hers and myself joined Hannah and Laura that night. I remember Paloma with tears streaming down her face at one point and howling with glee at the line

"I never had a way/
with women/
but the hills of iowa/
make me wish/
that I did."

I remember looking with some weight into laura's eyes at the line, "this year April had a blizzard just to show she did not care."

Dar Williams is a performer that I pick up and put away like a pair of overalls. I don't always want to wear them, but there are sometimes when that's all you can stand on your body. Lots of pockets. Plenty of room.

I miss being around nothing but people who share the kind of passion that rings with her voice. Being at the conference this weekend, I remembered how much I loved spending a year studying Feminist theory. I loved talking about in classrooms, over coffee in the library at 3 am, over sandwiches and tea at Rosey's Cafe and over endless glasses of wine in Ivy's house at her legendary dinner parties.

I miss those people. We're all so far-flung, but when I listen to certain songs, I feel like we're all still in Hannah's car, winding back through the NH highways back to Dartmouth.


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