While watching the news in our hotel room last night, I learned that Little Lotus and I are in the Mississippi Delta. I also found out about a music festival happening in Greenwood, Mississippi commemorating the 100th birthday of blues legend Robert Johnson “The King of the Delta Blues”. The festival is free, begins tomorrow, and we are less than 120 miles away! Two of my favorite musicians, Alvin Youngblood Hart and Keb’ Mo’, are playing.
Last night, after learning of the festival, I completely talked myself out of going with arguments like, “I didn’t budget for two extra nights in a hotel,” and, “It’s a bit out of the way.” When I awoke this morning my first thought was, “What am I thinking?! We are very close to the historical home of one of my favorite musicians when two more of my favorite musicians are playing at a free outdoor festival!” So… we are on our way to Greenwood , Mississippi to visit the Robert Johnson museum, at least, and perhaps stay for the festival.
At Little Rock, Arkansas our journey took us from driving on an interstate to driving on a highway. Interstates are much busier and flanked with hotels, gas stations, and chain stores, but by traveling on a highway one gains a true sense of a region. While driving on the open highway I felt as if I has been transported back through time.
I must admit, it’s hard for me not to judge this region for its past. As I drove through Little Rock, I thought of the Little Rock Nine who desegregated Arkansas public schools. While passing large beautiful trees, I thought of Lady Day’s Strange Fruit. Shells of burned houses reminded me of nighttime riders in white sheets. I look forward to exploring the southern U.S. more deeply and rounding out my knowledge of this region that saddens, intrigues, and inspires me. Our trip to the Robert Johnson museum is a great start.
In love, beauty, and peace,