Amazing to be here in New Orleans for the French Quarter Festival and the magic music this city has to offer. I’ve been listening all day to all kinds of music, loud, quiet, jazzy, blues, cajun, zydeco, calypso, a little bit of a lot of soul and color.
As we sat on the curb on Royal Street this afternoon, I listened not only to the music of David Leonard and Roselyn Lionheart, two lovely musicians who’ve played here for years, but also to the flow of people walking by, drinks in hand. Different conversations floated on the air, words picked out at random depending on the turn of a head or direction; one lady telling her husband that he already knew she wasn’t listening so why did he bother telling her whatever it was he was telling her. A man on his cell making sure all of us around him heard him tell whoever he was talking to that, yes, his grandmother was all right, and so was he, thank you for asking. At a restaurant for lunch the host who seated us had tissue paper stuffed in his ears because he was tired of the noisy bombardment of Bourbon Street. I didn’t blame him.
I listened and imagined writing about these sounds, these people and their characters, how they might all become grist for the writer’s mill. These little snippets of people’s lives surrounded me and I became aware of the quiet in my everyday life. Meanwhile the music encased us all in a large envelope of multi-colored sounds. This city is alive and I feel alive in it. The magic that always seems to entrance me here is as powerful as ever. I love New Orleans, its sounds, its life, its vibration that moves through you like the taste of a salty sweet margarita. Tomorrow I’ll be back out on the FQ streets listening to the beat of the city and its people, and tomorrow night I will come back to our little B & B (Auld Sweet Olive) and write about nothing but the magic of music and how it soothes my soul.