There is a fairly new group in my little town that holds an open mic night every month. It's a free, public event. All are welcome. But there is a core group of faithful musicians, poets and story tellers that show up and practice performing or speaking the written word.
I always enjoy going to this event. It is very simple. No food or drink. Sometimes there isn't even a mic. Just a group of people who embrace expressive arts.
This simple event creates community.
When I slipped in tonight, I went right from work so it had already started, there were smiles and nods to greet me. It was like a quiet version of the "Cheers!" line, "NORM!"
At the end of the evening there is a Q & A session, then time to chat. The time to talk to each artist about their work, to compare notes on structure and form, to praise or be praised is enjoyed by all.
These events can get so complicated and formal. In a world where blow up bouncy structures and people leaving a party with more gifts than they came with is common, it's nice when people can get together and enjoy each others company without pretension or fan fare.
I had an opportunity to try a few new poems out, to practice speaking in public and to listen to the great works of others. All while staying true to my budget living. Tis sweet, indeed.
Cost of the event $0
Cost of the gas $0 (this event was held on the route between work and home, since I went right from work to the Open Mic Night, no extra gas was used.)
My cabin fever melted away. Soul refreshed and ready for a new day!