Nothing makes me feel more alive than sharing music with friends and neighbors, and making new friends as it happens. Having the Powell/Balfa family here for a week brought together the two most prominent cultural influences in my life: mountain south and gulf south. Accordian, fiddle, driving guitar and Cajun French vocals continue to echo in the air around me, interspersed with reeling old time banjo and fiddle tunes. The sounds were plentiful and intoxicating, and I spent most of the week in a state of audial and culinary bliss.
My favorite moments were cooking gumbo in my kitchen and sharing our day's work with my neighbors and friends in the dance hall that Bill and Billy Joe have next door. After spending a few days with Christine and her cousin Courtney Granger, I could hear my accent slip into the way I sometimes speak with my mom and her kin (all from southern Mississippi). I've spent a big part of my life trying to reconcile my hillbilly upbringing with my deep Mississippi family roots. This week, it was as if those two worlds merged into one savory gumbo, nourishing my soul and filling me with a deep love for the people and cultures that have shaped my little world.
We ended the week with a Masquerade Ball last night that I cannot yet attempt to describe. Perhaps in a few days or weeks I'll be able to put it into words, but for now, I have to let it soak in. It seems like a dream, and I am still trying to wake up. I'm sure this feeling is due, in part, to my minimalistic sleep schedule the past few days.
Today I drove to Lexington so Courtney could catch his flight back to Louisiana and I could be interviewed for a position in a group exchange to Poland, Belaruse and the Ukraine. Our forgetfulness about time jumping back an hour (Daylight Savings) allowed us to caravan with dear friends Rayna & Jeff and enjoy a delectable Vietamese meal before parting ways. I think the interview went well, but my judgement may be skewed by a serious lack of sleep... Before I can sleep I must tackle the task of packing for next week's travels to the great Northwest.