The poets and storytellers too were pros, veterans of many such gatherings, where family and close friends meet to listen and appreciate a good piece of music close and up-front, where an afternoon is easily shared with the neighbor down the street or the mayor and his wife. Yes, these kinds of events are familiar to lots of people.
I was on my maiden voyage here, reading three poems from this blog, all dark and ponderous and not at all in the same light mood as the Vivaldi piece we heard.
I apologized for the dark themes; and then turned the mike to another poet whose verses are light and whimsical. Everyone applauded.
At the end, as I walked off in the rain toward my car, one of the musicians told me how my words had touched her. "We are not supposed to talk about depression, but I knew just where you were, with each poem. I have been there!"
Thank you, I said, and smiled back at her. I wanted to hug her then and there, in the rain, on the street, in front of everyone. It's always good to know another soul goes through what you go through.
The next day, my neighbor told me I made her feel guilty. Why? Because I didn't realize you have been feeling this low all this time and I wasn't there for you.
It's all good, I said. We all feel lots of stuff all the time. I was just voicing what we avoid voicing.