Light Up White Against the Night

The snow has been falling all day and, sitting in my bed right now watching the snow fall, I have a song playing in my head.  The air is so crisp and cold, reflecting orange and gray while the trees light up white against the night.  It is so pretty here sometimes I feel like I’m inside a snow globe…tonight gently shaken so the flakes swirl and rise before falling back down again.  It’s a dream…but it’s a dream that I wake up to every day.

This feeling brings me back a few years…It was a snowy night just like this one only instead of the gentle noise of the Alps I was escaping the constant buzz of Manhattan by ducking behind the velvet curtain at The Living Room on Ludlow Street to see Chris Thile.  I was lucky to have seen more than a few of his gigs in my neighborhood before we both up and left for greener pastures.  There was one night though, that snowy night I just mentioned, that is on my mind.  Maybe its the snow…maybe its the song…maybe its nothing at all…but I feel like sharing.

The room was full and silent.  Whiskey and lager backlit with candles and the wood floor creaking under the occasional snow boot is still vivid in my mind.  Chris’s microphone died before he could even say hello to the crowd but, seeing as though even a packed house was only about 40 people he just took a big tug off his whiskey and said something like…’so this is gonna be an old timey night.”  At that, they dimmed the lights and Chris, alone with a mandoline, played for us for a couple hours.  The Living Room was an apt name that night….acoustic music with no amp, no mic and no noise was only missing a campfire and starry sky to be perfect.  He played Poor Places towards the end of his set and I remember my eyes tearing up and a feeling of being totally overwhelmed…looking back, I could have been feeling overwhelmed with just about anything.  If I recall, things were a little dicey for me back then but Im not really sure.  Im not sure, I suppose, because sitting in my perch in the snow tonight listening to that song I feel exactly the same way.  Fragile but somehow protected…connected to everything but also behind a thin bubble of glass that keeps the snow in and the wind out…a bit like a lady in a snow globe.

It’s my father’s voice trailing off
Sailors sailing off in the morning
For the air-conditioned rooms
At the top of the stairs

His jaw’s been broken
His bandage is wrapped too tight
His fangs have been pulled
And I really want to see you tonight

There’s bourbon on the breath
Of the singer you love so much
He takes all his words from the books
That you don’t read anyway

His jaw’s been broken
His bandage is wrapped too tight
His fangs have been pulled
And I really want to see you tonight

Someone ties a bow
In my backyard to show me love
My voice is climbing walls
Smoking and I want love

My jaw’s been broken
My heart is wrapped in ice
My fangs have been pulled
And I really want to see you tonight

And it makes no difference to me
How they cried all over overseas
When it’s hot in the poor places tonight
I’m not going outside

They cried all over overseas
It makes no difference to me
When it’s hot in the poor places tonight
I’m not going outside

It’s hot in the poor places tonight
I’m not going outside
I’m not going outside
I’m not going outside

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