Something in my Smoothie?

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Live Your Life…Maurice Sendak to NPR’s Terry Gross

What is going on with me? All of these strong responses within a single month. Here. I will lay them out for you below, and maybe we can figure it out together.

Have you heard the one where a person walks into…. a gallery…and tears- up? Yes, it was me. Yes, I was surprised, too. But, give me a break. I was seeing some of the life’s work of my hero Maurice Sendak.

I explored this Sendak heaven at the Morgan Library in New York City . Lucky me! . The experience felt precious to me, which may explain my emotional response. Or, maybe not.

Let’s try this one. Have you heard the one about a person staggering around…after 2am…barely missing the resident cat. And then tearing-up? Yes, it was me. No, I wasn’t surprised this time because I saw silhouetted a parent and child cuddling in sleepiness. This sight easily feels precious to me, and may certainly explain my emotional response. Hmmmmm.

How about this one? Have you heard the phrase, “Plays well with others.” But, have you seen it printed on a piano as people sat and banged out jazz standards while it rolled through city streets? Then, the pianist jammed with Pittsburgh jazz greats next to the old Crawford Grill in Pittsburgh’s Hill District. .

You guessed it. I teared-up at the opening to “What a Wonderful World,” precious for a few reasons. First, the lyrics remind me of my grandchildren (“… I hear babies crying, I watch them grow. They’ll learn much more than I’ll ever know…”). Second, here was where I found this year’s mandatory injection of live, outdoor jazz to punctuate my summer.

I have felt this way ever since our yearly, Labor-Day trips to the Detroit Jazz Festival .Whether we lived in Toledo, Ohio or Pittsburgh, we went as often as possible. Otherwise, in Toledo, we grooved at Murphy’s Place , or at Art in the Garden, or at the Art Tatum Jazz Heritage Festival

Back to my puzzlement. Am I wearing my emotions ” on my sleeve”? In other words, do I feel love and beauty more profoundly these days? Or, have I just poured way too much sweetening into my daily smoothies? Daily love or daily sweetener? Who’s to say?