And Gutenberg Lived Here: The Day That Was Better Than It Should Be

Today I watched the sun come up through a foggy, spitting mist of rain.

I thought of all I had to do today.

And how I would have to walk a half hour to the bus stop through it.

And then I simply gave up,

looked out the window,

and enjoyed it thoroughly.

And when we finally set out,

I mentally tried to strengthen myself for the fact that,

with singer ears,

which pick up like radar

every nuance of tone

and change of pitch,

I would have to stand,

packed shoulder to shoulder,

and listen to the people,

loud because of the rain,

and complaining because the stop had been moved once again

with probably no direction sign, and surely nothing to give anyone an idea of where it was now.

And then I realized that:

surely someone here had traveled on the weekend

and knew where they were hiding the bus stop this time.

And that the bus that is normally packed

was suddenly to a large part empty,

due to the homemakers waiting until the rain finally let up to shop.

And that the air was fresh,

and we were only damp, not wet,

and that the bus ride in the mist was absolutely magical.

And that the few students going to the U this morning

would be getting off in only two blocks,

leaving us with a nearly empty bus.

And then I discovered a musician friend,

who I had been worried about after she left town after a very serious heart attack,

at an amazingly young age.

And no one knew where she was.

She was in rehab, it seemed,

and now fine and back at work.

And soon we had each other,

and the entire bus,

chortling about her finally discovering,

and now apparently at least partially understanding,

the new school of modern spiritual music,

which everyone here calls gospel.

Although it has absolutely nothing to do with it.

And she explained to me, in all seriousness,

“that she finally has experienced the new song book she helped try out for the Catholic church,

and understands, for the first time,

why we protestants have, for years talked about the ‘goat songs.’ ”

One of the most famous of which is a,

I freely admit,

very beautiful,

but a bit too romantic, for my taste,

song with the text “Lord, your love is like green grass on the shore.”

A song we, for the most part, unsaintly musical types,

(it’s really hard to keep a halo in place while conducting a choir)

who really just want feed our souls,

(and sometimes our egos, I admit)

playing Bach and Mozart,

call “Lord, your goat is eating the green grass on the shore.”

Only among ourselves, of course.

And certainly never around ministers, small children, or members of the church council.

Not that we don’t like the lyrics.

But just because it is played at every wedding,

funeral, baptism, and every Sunday where something else isn’t planned.

And at some point-

you shroud yourself in images of frolicking goats,


well, you just have to laugh.

And today was one of those just plain unplanned joyous days.

Hope yours was too.

copyright 2016

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