Tori Amos and Gratitude

So we went to see Tori Amos last night.

I’m not a concert connoisseur by any stretch of the imagination, but I have seen my fair share of live music to know that what we witnessed last night was something spectacular.  It was absolutely amazing.  Pitch perfect and crystal clear.  She was seated between a keyboard and a Bosendorfer piano and she pretty much played both instruments for the whole concert, one hand on each.

There was a deferential hushed silence whilst she was singing.  Afterwards there was much talk in the girl bathrooms of how long they had waited (20 Years!) to see her and how they wished they had brought tissues.

Sitting there, having gooseflesh travelling up and down my arms for 2 hours, I had for the first time in a very very long time the opportunity to just be still and reflect and just BE.  Not the mindless reflection you do when sitting in front of the telly, but that meandering of the mind we never allow ourselves because we are always running to get something done.  That lying-on-the-beach-soaking-up-the-sun nothingness.

I reflected on the very special people in my life that were there with me.

I reflected on London in the 90’s.  On Alanis Morissette. Man did we listen to a lot of Alanis Morissette back then.  On Bon Jovi’s Bed of Roses blaring out of a window in a street in Earls Court on Christmas Day 1994. The Gloucester Hotel in Gloucester Road. On working hard and playing harder. Going clubbing until 06h00 in an old church off Leicester Square and going straight to work via a shower.  And then still going out after your shift ends for a beer.

On being 21.  And then 22.  On the boys I knew (let’s face it: we were pretty much still girls and boys then).  Friends I made and lost along the way through circumstance or through choice.

On being independent for the first time.  The togetherness of friends and the ease with which you let people into your life at that age.  People that camp out in your lounge because they are backpacking and passing through. (even though I bitched and moaned about this extensively at the time)

The giddiness of total freedom and feeling invincible.  And missing home so much that you physically ache but knowing that you wouldn’t change where you are at that moment for any money in the world. 

The feeling that time is truly on your side.

Watching sleet go past my office window on Christmas Eve in 1995.  Kensington Gardens.  Camden Town on a Sunday.  Haagen Dazs.  Pret-a-manger. Chocolate Chip muffins from Cullens in Gloucester Road.

And then I thought about how irrevocably different our lives are now to what they were then.  And all the way we have all travelled since then, since the 90’s. And how I don’t feel like I could possibly be approaching 40 at the rate I am, somewhere inside me is still that young person, just (hopefully!) vastly improved with age. 

And how amazing it all turned out and how I wouldn’t trade my life now for anything in the world and the rest is actually just Middleclass Problems.  That I should stop the bitching and moaning and be thankful for all those incredible memories that no-one could ever take away from me.

Ps: Yoav opened for Tori Amos.  He was also completely amazing and another product of Cape Town.  I’m sure he is from behind the Lentil curtain…

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