Dancing with Myself

A tiny moment of utter glee and joy. Downstairs tonight, working on some birthday presents for Abby, I had Letterman on, and he announced his closing musical act. In passing he said “The Dead”- but I was only listening with one ear as I ripped out a zipper and wrestled a pile of pink gingham.

Then the sweet notes of Sugar Magnolia hit my ears. My head whipped up, and I stared at the screen. Jerry Garcia’s been dead since 1995, and when he left us, I stopped following the Grateful Dead. I knew of side-projects the other members were working on, but life moves on and blah blah blah… So when I whirled around and looked at the tv, there was Bobby Weir singing and playing his guitar. And next to him? That was Phil! Still holding my seam ripper, my heart started to bang, and I strained to see the drummers- Oh my heck, it’s Billy and Mickey!! It’s all of them!

I jumped up and down and squeeled with glee. I’m surprised I didn’t wake up the house. I had forgotten how utterly delightful a live rendition of Sugar Magnolia can be, and tears sprang to my eyes. I danced until my heart was pounding and the song ended.

If you never understood the Dead, or followed the band, or saw them live, I just cannot explain it to you. It’s cliche, but you really did have to be there. It was like seeing old, dear loved ones I hadn’t seen in a decade. It was happiness and joy in it’s simplest form- the joy of music and freedom of dancing- even if I’m just a mama dancing alone in her basement with a pile of pink fabric tangled about my feet.

6 thoughts on “Dancing with Myself

  1. How wonderful! Sugar Magnolia is definitely one of my faves and now my children will have to endure listening to the CD’s today as they do every time you bring up the Dead. Something absolutely magical about those days that died within me the day that Jerry left us. We went up to SF to watch Weir perform his song-ladden eulogy and it was beautiful, but it ended there for me. I will have to youtube last night’s Lettermen to see the performance. YAY!!

    Can not believe Abby is turning 3! Seems like just yesterday you were in your Mom’s bathroom telling me difinitively you were prego!

  2. You were? How funny! We walked from the observatory over. I locked my keys in my car. Listening to Mars Hotel….

  3. How awesome to dance with such joy and abandon – even if it was just in your basement. I’m so glad you had that moment.

    Can you imagine if you’d awakened your kids? “What’s up with Mama?!” 🙂

  4. Hey now – I’ve been reading you for a few months and didn’t know you are a Deadhead…smile…I miss the freedom of dancing at shows, too…nothing like it. Can’t bring myself to see the boys live without Jerry, though…I might have to now. Keep dancin’, mama!

  5. amykate, Hey now! That’s how I’ve felt, too. But inadvertantly seeing ALL of them, the music is almost as sweet. Bobby has grown out his beard and looks freakishly like an early 80’s Jerry. At first when I saw Bobby I thought it was Ratdog, but when I saw Phil and Billy and Mickey, chills ran up my back. It was so sweet.

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