with Ian Gould
I usually have an agenda. A plan. A list. I have an idea of how I think things should be done. How it should all unfold. And I’d say that some of the time it works out as my plan, agenda and lists indicate. It’s the times that don’t exactly work out according to my plan that get my attention. When life forces me to stop. And take a breath. And even smell the roses.
I spent Thursday living according to plan. I’d been interviewing for different jobs all week-long. Taking entrance tests and job shadowing. Only to not find the next job of my dreams. As you might imagine, that wasn’t quite the outcome I had worked out in my head. So there I was, sitting on my deck stunned at the end of the day, when I got a call and was invited out for the evening. Without a new plan in mind, I said yes.
From the sidewalk I had no idea the treasures I’d find. The booths were filled with evening diners enjoying Irish Stew, Bangers and Mashed and Shepherd’s Pie. I opted for the St. Patty’s Melt right from my seat at the bar. This pub offers 30 brands of beer on tap. Irish Beer of course.
The wait staff informed me there would be entertainment beginning within minutes. I was delighted. Just the sort of tonic I needed for my latest plan gone awry. And delighted I was from the first note. (Which happened to be from a harmonica).
Ian Gould was performing. A native of Belfast, Northern Ireland, he had just returned to the States from a special performance. The president of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins had requested that Ian would grace his July 12th Garden party with a performance. The Garden Party is held to honor the unification of Ireland and Ian wrote a special song for the occasion. “Look How Far We’ve Come.” He shared that same piece with all of us at O’Riley & Conway’s Irish Pub tonight.
Throughout the evening Ian continued to entertain us with his Irish quips, traditional Irish melodies as well as an extensive repertoire of popular music from the Beatles, Dire Straits, Elvis Costello and the Turtles, to name a few.
By the end of the evening I had a new perspective. Look at the wonderful time I had. It wasn’t part of the plan I had in line for today. But what a gift it was. I also concluded that since I couldn’t find a job today, I might as well get busy writing that book I was working on before my trip. …And a new plan is born.