Come join me. I’m in the back bar of our Pub, where the Neverending Session is in full flow. There’s an amazing Galician guitarist sitting in tonight, so I’ve (been) volunteered to write this journal entry while I’m here. Actually, I’m quite happy to oblige, as the session is an enjoyably different experience on the outside of the circle than on the inside, where I usually find myself. You start noticing people and things that you’d miss if you were playing.
Even so, I never noticed that quiet young woman who’s now sketching portraits of the musicians…where did she come from? How does someone so striking manage to move about unnoticed like that? How come her long red hair looks damp when it hasn’t rained all day? I’m snapped out of these musings by the barkeep, who gives me a playful bang on the ear as he squeezes past. ‘What are ye staring at, Laddie,’ says he. ‘Ah, that’s Morveth, she lives somewhere up on the coast. I’d keep your eyes on your notebook, not her, if I were you, as she’s got a thing for storytellers of a certain age!’ I protest that my interest in the lady is purely observational. ‘Aye, sure it is,’ he chuckles, and he’s off, hailing other customers.
There’s a staffer tucked away in the corner there, reading, as always. With her fingers rhythmically tapping on the covers and the pages flicking over, she looks like a concertina player accompanying a song that only she can hear. A couple are deep in conversation among the throng at the bar. He’s got his missus in a ballroom dance hold… I’m trying to read the Steeleye Span tour dates on the back of his T-shirt when she flashes me a smile over his shoulder. He turns to grin too, makes an ‘air guitar’ gesture and nods pointedly in the direction of the session. I smile back, shake my head, and do a ‘we’re not worthy,’ towards the Galician guy.
So, here we all are. Reading, listening and watching. We’re not outside of the circle after all, but inside the next circle, the next ripple on the pond when the stone gets dropped in the water.