Every Wednesday night, more or less, for the past few years have been guitar night–when Jeff comes over and when we pour wine and laugh and talk hockey and politics and and play our guitars. We often start with a lesson and then we play some together just for kicks–the songs I love to sing. And then as the night grows old (and I grow sleepy) my friend plays for me as I curl up on the couch and delight in homemade music. Sometimes I sing, and every now and then I dance, but mostly I just listen.
Witnessing a song being born can make my breath catch and cracks me open. “Play me something new” I always insist. When we first met, Jeff played me old standards, but I quickly demanded to hear his originals–the ones he rarely played out. Now, if I am lucky I will hear a song that he wrote just that morning. Tender or wistful songs that offer me a glimpse into a part of my friend’s heart I hadn’t yet known.
When I got my camera, I knew that I wanted to take pictures of my favorite people’s hands, going the things I love to see them do. Yet, I was shy taking out my camera to capture his hands as he played for me that night. I who write or do my art in the safety of solitude, I was confronted with the rawness and vulnerability of creating in front of someone else. Suddenly, in the simple act of raising the camera to my eye, I understood the level of courage it takes to share a new song and in that moment almost drowned in gratitude for what happens in my living room each Wednesday night.