Something New – Part 6

“The challenge of the Silver Gate is to reconnect to our regenerative forces and stay connected to them. Many cultures of the world have traditional practices to accomplish this.” Angeles Arrien
I am intrigued by an Ancient European custom cited in this section that is still practiced in some areas of the world. The challenge is to do something never before tried each month. The custom is to do it on one’s birthdate, but I will play fast and loose with that.
 
* * *
Okay then, from the sublime to the ridiculous…
This challenge is interesting in that I want to do new things and still I’m pretty aware by this time in my life what would just make me miserable and what would just be a stretch but might be something that would enrich my thinking, or even my life. So reading the entertainment section on the Friday before Mother’s Day offered me this month’s “new” thing.
I love music. And I’m varied in my tastes. My favorite is opera. Next is bluesy gospel, blues, classical, classic rock…and the list goes on in no particular order.  And since it first appeared years ago I have enjoy rap and hop-hop. I often deplore the lyrics but I love the beat. I’ve attended a lot of festivals, concerts and performances in bars and clubs, but I have never been to an Open Mic.
And I’ve certainly never been to a Hip-Hop Open Mic. So, Voila!
My husband (although I’m not his mother) consented to humor me on this special day by going with me. And what fun it was!
We live near a fairly small town that prides itself on it’s entertainment. There are many theaters – from world famous to hole-in-the-wall productions. There’s usually live music to choose from on weekends. How had we missed this opportunity?
Perhaps the most fascinating part of the evening was the variation in the attendees. So you want diversity? Here you go! I’m sure there was a grandmother of a performer in the front center row. She had a couple of friends with her and she was poised to enjoy and support. In this black-walled  theater with folding chairs set up in semi-circles around the sound equipment and a DJ at the back we watched as the crowd filtered in. Young women in short shorts and filmy tops. Young men in camo and boots. Older men straight out of their book-lined studies who should have been carrying smoldering pipes in their pockets. Dreadlocks. Shaved heads. Theater people. Music crowd. And chic, Starbucks-toting, groups poised and ready for…what?
We enjoyed all sorts (literally) of performances. Moving poetry. Singer-songwriters with an acoustic guitar followed by a rock singer surrounded by electronic equipment to provide his percussion. Women bringing tears to our eyes with stories of survival and young men crooning loves songs to women in the audience.
Finally, after an hour or so, a hip-hop artist was announced. The young man shambled to the mic an peered from behind his curtain of hair. So quietly that it was hard to discern his words (other than the classic “mother-fucker” and “bitch”) he spilled out his angst to his own internal beat. I wish I could have heard more. Like other performers, he had a story to tell that was compelling to him and to the less-hearing-impaired listeners.
He wasn’t the last on the list of hopefuls. But he was the only one who slightly touched on hip-hop.
We stayed around for sidesplitting stories and soul-stirring folk songs. The entire experience made me think that before my years of “new” ends, I may want to attend a poetry slam. I have never done that either.
The Student
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Filed under Angeles Arríen, The Challenge, The Second Half of Life, The Silver Gate

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