I just got out of the tub soaking my weary muscles in warm salt water on a dreary, damp morning.  Yesterday was a long one beginning with several hours of landscaping in the Elmwood Village.  My partner Angela and I have formed a symbiotic alliance as we continued transformation of a front yard into a beautifully sculpted terrace garden.  We managed to scrape away the remaining turf, put down pea gravel and stack up several tiers of field stone on a spectacular autumn day.  On our next outing we will put the finishing touches on the project with some composted topsoil, plants and mulch.

Following completion I left the job site with my sights set on obtaining a pass to see Rush at the First Niagara Center on tour in support of their Clockwork Angels album.  Despite utter exhaustion I pulled into the Seneca Casino lot, changed out of my work duds into jeans and a tie-dyed shirt, put a couple of strokes of deodorant under each arm and headed over to the box office where I purchased a ticket.  There was an hour remaining before the doors opened so I headed back to the casino to grab a beer and play the slots.  I forgot that they allow smoking being exempt from county law and quickly chugged my beer as I donated 5 bucks in a machine.

Once inside the arena I grabbed another overpriced draft beer and headed for my seat, delighted to see how close to the stage I’d be for the show.  I sat pensively in anticipation as folks slowly filed in filling the arena to capacity.  I realized I hadn’t eaten anything since lunch and although not hungry figured I best get something in my stomach to make it through the duration of the evening.  After downing a slice of pizza I was eager and ready for the 3 Canadian rockers to take the stage and entertain us.  It had been 5 years since I last saw them perform.

I chatted with a couple of folks in front of me who confessed they paid $200 each for their tickets, more than double what I paid just hours before showtime.  Before long Alex, Geddy and Neil ran onto stage and opened with Subdivisions, the haunting keyboards bouncing off the arena walls as Geddy sang of the suburban plight of youth.  Everything seemed in order for a memorable show as a group of fans argued over standing up or sitting down to watch the show.  An obstructed view is no way to enjoy a show, yet to be seated for a concert seems something of an oxymoron.  By the fourth song most everyone had opted to sit down as the lights and videography captivated the audience’s allegiance.

Throughout the show I reflected upon some of the times since past where I’d gone to see one of my favorite bands of all-time perform.  This was the first time I’d seen them solo, and I was no less bedazzled by their talent and energy.  The very first time I’d seen them over 20 years ago for their Roll the Bones tour I’ll never forget the ride downtown to the now dismantled Memorial Auditorium.  I was seated shotgun with another buddy in the backseat as an early season lake effect snowstorm pounded the city.  About halfway to our destination my buddy Manny lost control of the vehicle as we spun, careened off a guard rail and completed a 360 somehow unscathed.  As I recall we were all rather intoxicated and in retrospect it amazes me how close one can come to a curtain call in this life.

Forecasters are calling for a “Frankenstorm” as a hurricane inches its way up the coast and an early season winter storm system descends from the north, with the potential to combine for a windy, wet and possibly snowy impact on the northeast region.  My friends packed up and headed south yesterday to hole up in a rented cabin for a week, looks like a lot of time will be spent indoors.  I may drive down and meet up with them for an overnight if I feel inspired.  Right now I am indifferent, as I have been for a couple weeks now.  It is the space between desperation and inspiration, an opportunity for introspection.  Creator, guide me in your unconditional love to fulfill your purpose for me in a good and balanced way, Nya:weh!

In common wealth,