In the midst of bobbing heads and bodies everything smells faintly like beer and the room is painted a red made richer by dim lighting. The pit below the stage is dark, and so is that small stage. The players operate in darkness too. I watch the people around me. There a man who listens with his eyes closed and has the greatest rhythm bouncing his shoulders side to side with the percussion section. There are two women who dance with their hands in the air as if they’re channeling the guitar down their arms and into their hearts. My friend next to me looks on calm and slowly grooving, probably a lot like how I am. I catch my smile drifting on and off my face, not completely aware of how or why it moves.
The chaos is centered on one who is still amoung the chaos. Jose Gonzalez is at center stage, a guitar slung across his shoulders, eyes closed, now open. He’s telling us about love, about light, about belonging, about caves and forests and stories. He builds everyone a sea of calm. While listening, I had the impulse to write 2 love letters. I have yet to write them. They will be in the vein of letting love go, with the intent of letting myself make space for a newness that is always coming.
And check this out, NPR’s on the trail of Gonzalez as well: Jose Gonzalez on Finding Light in the Darkness.