Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Ode to the Charles

Now I know to start inviting folks earlier. Going it alone wasn't so bad though, in fact I loved the community vibe.

Riversing is put on by a local band of merry-makers who also run pub sing-a-longs a few times a year. This is the sixth year they've done Riversing in an attempt to create new traditions and build community. There's an amateur choir, a few professionals, a white-haired, spectacled man in a white tux that leads the whole thing and then a few hundred people that join in song.

Joggers still out of breath from their run. Women with popped collars singing in high sopranos. Older men with raspy baritones. Children holding hands and spinning in circles while they sing. Moms singing to their babies. College students singing, yet trying to be cool. Bikers still with their helmets on, balancing their bikes and reading the lyrics in the program.

We all sang our odes to the River. No need for worshiping any omnipotent God or celebration of any special battle. Just people coming together, thankful that they live in such a place where these kind of things can happen, where there's a river and parkland that people work to conserve and that the summer was good and the autumn has arrived.

In between songs we heard poems about rivers. As one poet spoke the line "a flock of geese flew overhead." a flock of geese appeared in the dimming light and flew overhead, swinging back to settle down on the bank opposite us to watch the show. The crowd oohed. More staged magic occurred as the event closed with us serenading a saxophone who had come on a boat with a giant puppet moon and sun. Circling near the shore, we alternated between our voices, his riff and a low bowing of the cello.

Some photos from the evening:

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