It’s quiet outside (for New York). Amazing how the traffic sounds die down until they are almost gone when a holiday approaches. Earlier there was gridlock all over the city as people headed out to wherever they are spending Thanksgiving. Our Thanksgiving weekend is almost always spent here in the city, sometimes with just the four of us, and sometimes with friends. This year we will be heading out to eat uptown with our friends the Spositos, which I am greatly looking forward to. I’m bringing the pumpkin pie and dinner rolls. (Both ‘baked in a moderate oven’ for those who know the story of my recipe box.) Friday we will laze around all day, possibly go out for lunch and/or dinner, maybe do a little sewing; definitely do NO shopping unless it is on line. There is no ‘Black Friday’ deal yet conceived that would tempt me to head out into that madness.
Then Saturday is my yearly trip to church. The Bring Your Own God church that is the Guthrie Family at Carnegie Hall. There is nothing more spiritual or uplifting for me than this concert, which has become a yearly ritual that now includes both me and Maya. Arlo tells the stories we all know and sings the songs that he or his dad Woody or Pete Seeger wrote, and we all sing along. It’s a gathering of old friends.
A few years ago Arlo and his sister starting collecting lyrics that their Dad had written but never set to music. Woody was a prolific songwriter, and the joke was that if you invited him for dinner, more often than not after he’d gone home you’d find song lyrics written on a napkin or some scrap piece of paper. One of the songs he wrote was called “My Peace”, and 3 or 4 years ago Arlo wrote music for it. Now it is the song with which Arlo and his large family end every concert. He always says that this song is about the ‘little peace’, not the big world peace that seems so unattainable. It’s about the peace inside each of us. He says that if we could all just take care of the little peace inside ourselves, the big peace would take care of itself. The first line goes like this:
“My peace, my peace, is all I have, and all that I give to you.”
I don’t know how many people Carnegie Hall holds, but when that song is sung, you can almost imagine the music soaring out from the building and around the world, a quiet gift to people no matter where they live or what they believe.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone.