As the London Jazz Orchestra played Samba Kinda Mamba they jumped to their feet! They stepped to the open space on the front floor the theatre and began dancing. It was a dance event – no matter. They clearly have marched to the beat of their own drum for quite a while. Man could they cut a rug! Twirling, spinning, grinding, swinging – they did it all. They were clearly excited to be out on a Thursday evening to enjoy some great music and share one another’s company.
I do not know this couple, but I sure do admire them. The real surprise here is their age. I can’t say for sure, but would have to guess they are octogenarians. His shirt proudly declares that he is “Well Aged.” She is smartly dressed in a vibrant red top and her smile as they danced clearly told a story of love that has spanned many decades. They longingly keep eye contact through their dance. They are in love – and have been for a long time! Looking at they way these two enjoyed one another’s company, I found myself realizing how much I take for granted my own relationships. Life has a way of keeping us all preoccupied with distractions. Distractions from the people we love the most and the relationships that are most life giving and critical. I hope that I live long enough to be able to head out with my love and dance up a storm proudly wearing a shirt that declares proudly – WELL AGED! This couple when they danced were no longer two people, but one image of great love and joy. Reminded me of this verse from Yates’ poem Among School Children:
O chestnut-tree, great-rooted blossomer,
Are you the leaf, the blossom or the bole?
O body swayed to music, O brightening glance,
How can we know the dancer from the dance?”
― W.B. Yeats
The music these brave and love struck fools danced to was awesome. A free concert by the London Jazz Orchestra at the Central Library was awesome. In the rhythm section was a terrific bassist by the name of Jim Smythe! Jim and his friends in this big band jazz group are really a treasure here in the city of London. Their next FREE concert takes place on April 23rd at 7:30 pm. I cannot recommend strongly enough that you mark that date on your calendar and head out for a real gift to our community by artist who care about their craft.