Today being Wednesday, it was time to venture into London to hear folk music at the home of Christine and John. “Acoustic Spotlight” is their creation. The first set always features the piano majesty of Jake Levesque, and usually includes Jake accompanying the impeccable vocals of his dear wife Julia Webb. I’m especially moved when she sings one of Jake’s songs. Tonight these lyrics slipped from her lips:
The stars burn bright over this town tonight
And it sure feels good to be home
Home indeed, within a living room of music lovers.
Tonight’s feature act was Emily Garber, a singer-songwriter of vividly “real” compositions, and with an edginess that reminded me of Alanis Morissette. Sitting on the couch right in front of Emily was her dad Nathan. Once she pointed him out to us, I could see that we were in the presence of family. It wasn’t similar looks. It was the bond that stretched between their eyes.
“I wrote dad a song.” Emily admitted that the two of them have often tangled but the love I felt between them filled the room. She sang “Forty Years” to him, and to us. Her eyes never left his face. Emily wrote about long ago, when her tiny hand fit into his, and she felt safe. And then recently, when her two young daughters did the same with Gramps. Dad was melting on the couch. I watched him closely, wishing that I too had been a father.
Half an hour later, Nathan came to the front and Emily took his seat. As he sang and played guitar, their eyes were once more joined. Stillness hung in the air. Father and daughter share a love of the song, and so much more. It was as if they were thanking each other all evening.
I’m not a dad. I’ve often wished I was. But as I sit at home tonight, having witnessed the tenderness stretching between two human beings, I feel myself relaxing into not being a father. I’m nodding my head in recognition of there being no deficit. My life has not been “less than” because I don’t have children. I feel the richness of many relationships. The fact that no one has ever called me dad brings an ache to my heart and also a smile to my face. So bittersweet this life sometimes is. May I embrace it all till my time here is done.
7 thoughts on “Dad”
oh my I think I need a love button on this beautiful post!!!! Emily has a beautiful way, quite magical presense. so love that you got to hear her, and your words so touching. thank you as always 🙂
Thank you, Donna. It was a privilege to be with Emily.
You always put my thoughts into words for your blog posts 🙂 I so love that!!! I feel the same with the lovely local musicians I have met! did you see the pairs are playing on May 8th i think?
Thanks for letting me know about The Pairs. I’ll find the date. If it’s the 8th, I’m still in California.
The pairs did play on the 8th it was lovely. They are also playing tomorrow, on the 11th and again the 18th. They were also announced as playing in the Home County Folk show this summer! yah them. so lovely and they also make me think of you on your journey with words and songs and all 🙂 happy trails.
Thanks, Donna. I just bought a ticket for May 18.
See you there?