April 7, 2006
Sitting, listening to Bessie Smith sing Down Hearted Blues, I mull over what it takes to sing - emotion, compassion, acceptance, centeredness in attitude and breath. This song transports me from my office desk, superimposes a shifting scene before my eyes. The white walls grow dark, are papered with patterned colors and curtains hang over the windows. I am sucking on a long, hand-rolled cigarette. Heavy smoke hangs low over the circular tables that fill the room. A waiter hands me a tea cup filled with XX hootch. A couple dance by the piano player, leaning into each other, fingers locked.