AS I WAS SAYING: JT not bucket list but life story
That is what made May 12 so special. My daughter bought the two of us tickets to enjoy a night at the Rogers Centre in Kingston with singer-songwriter James Taylor. For Stephanie, it was the realization of a long time goal to go see him with me after growing up listening to me playing his music. Campfires, road trips and afternoon barbecues with JT are a part of her childhood.
He is truly an accomplished musician and showman. His laidback style fits his music and his easy comradery with the audience draws every fan into the time travel of the folk era.
At intermission (which he even jokes seemed like a waste of time because he just stands around and looks at his watch) the crowd made its way to the lobby for t-shirts, bathroom breaks and a stretch of the legs.
But I had been alerted on Twitter that at his Ottawa show, James spent the intermission at the front of the stage interacting with fans. So it was through some nerve, happenstance and the persistence of my daughter, I got to shake hands, get a shoulder slap, a quick music chat and “selfie” style photo with my music hero James Taylor.
It is something I never would have tried, which made it so much more special.
At this point, I might be tempted to use the new cliché of it being a check off the bucket list. But I am not a fan of that. To me, the bucket list signifies the end of imagination and wanderlust….and the pursuit of events not yet attained.
Why limit the experiences of your life to that? Your life is so much greater than even what our feeble imaginations can conjure up.
On the way home that night, Stephanie asked me how I became a fan in the first place, and I felt a bit ashamed that I hadn’t yet shared that story of my life. How I used his music and other bands like the Association and the Mamas and the Papas to teach myself about musical harmonies.
We played some of those songs that she didn’t know through Bluetooth off her phone browser. Technology available now that was unthinkable when those gems were recorded. And that night, it brought two generations of music lovers together.
That night did something else much more important. She made it possible for me to meet a musical giant in my life and I was able to share more of my life than she had not known.
That is far more important than a bucket list check. It is the old school belief that we are to pass on these stories to our children.
So if I do have a bucket list in my head, it would be that I want to make sure I pass on everything about how great they have made my life, and not simply a list of things I never got around to.
And remind them, like James Taylor has cooed so many times…..They’ve Got a Friend….
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