Giving Myself Permission

I have been going out to listen to music in clubs for about 7 years now.   In my travels to the jazz clubs in Detroit, I fell in love with the music.  I actually started with R&B, tried some blues and then jazz.  Detroit usually means the straight ahead edgy jazz.  So I began to wander into the many music clubs in Detroit.  As a single woman, the first part of giving myself permission was to go alone and listen to the music. I asked some of the single women I know to go out with me and was astonished when the  response indicated they thought I was going out drinking.  Some people do it that way. Music goes straight inside of me and breaks into my emotions and sets them loose.

And I love the lift to my mood.  I found that many are not there to listen to the music.  It took me some time to even begin to understand this very foreign culture.

Luckily, I do not drink so my observations  were sober.  I learned that so many people make assumptions about any new person that shows up.  I learned that some people talk about everybody.  And I met a few that are upstanding ethical people.  I learned that profession of faith or religiosity had little to do with predicting ethics.  I learned that some married people just do not take it seriously.  So. the music was so uplifting and at times the surroundings were so toxic.

I was so pleased, at first, when musicians asked my name and wanted to get to know me.  I felt honored and a part of something.  I didn’t know the names of any of the musicians and now I know the name of quite a few.  I went out more and more.  I went to events just because someone asked.  As I went to so many events and to so many different kinds of music my own personal tastes began to form and change.  I now know what I like to hear the most and it is the tight, edgy, funky Detroit straight ahead jazz.  So, I gave myself permission not to go to some events where a musician invited me simply because I did not like the music they produce.

Last night I went out to hear some of the music I like and knew the keyboard player I like was not going to be there until later in the evening.  The  substitute keys were not good.  Listening was a struggle.  The musician was not incompetent but the synergy of the group was sadly lacking.  I gave myself permission to walk out.  And I enjoyed it.

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