I didn’t tell a lot of people this, but after that last so-called tour, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to play music anymore. Not as a hobby, certainly not as a life path. I thought about going back to school, and I thought about what kinds of careers I could find that might give me respect and stability in life, and hopefully even meaning and the kind of flexibility I crave. I thought hard about it, and even got excited about the idea of having financial security and competency in a conventional field.
However, after seriously considering my options and a lot of soul searching, I realized that my motivations were coming from a hurt and scared place and that I needed to reconsider. And eventually came to the conclusion that I’m still on the right road, and that my true desire is to follow it and to see where it leads rather than going after conventional success. And of course, this whole thing is not without the obvious acknowledgement that I’m incredibly fortunate to have that choice to make. It was still a hard place to come to, and not without its period of mourning and fear. And I’m still there. Let me tell you – this shit is terrifying. But I need to follow my heart, because I’ve realized it’s the only chance I have at being truly happy. This much I’m sure of now. And having let go of that expectation that I need to “succeed”, I already feel a huge weight off my shoulders. It’s a road of course, one I’m still figuring out, and I’m very lucky to have such a wonderful and supportive family who are kindly putting me up while I take a time out to heal, to take long walks in the woods, and to find my voice again.
Tonight was important to me. To those of you who made it out, thank you. It’s not easy you know. Performers, I know you get it. In many ways, the album launch was easy. I hid behind an epic story, behind dancers, projections, the spectacle of it all. But tonight was all about the music. I called Marie at NACC in tears a few weeks ago because I didn’t think I could do it. Because I felt like a shell of a creative being and I was trying to pull from an empty well. I nearly canceled the show, but she convinced me to keep going, to surround myself in good friends and strong musicians and to do something simple and authentic. I’m grateful, to her as well as to Anne-Marie and Andrea, who stood with me on stage and were supportive in more ways than they probably know. There are others, you know who you are.
Tonight was about friendship and community, about finding a place to live and make home. There was a song I was going to sing, that I didn’t because it isn’t finished yet. But it really captures what I wanted to say all night – that friendship is about showing up when it matters, about the loneliness of the road, and the struggles of living in a small town. And, maybe closer to the point, about opening up and letting myself feel the support of a community that has been there all along. Those of you who’ve stuck around through the past year and a half, it means more than you realize. I am touched, and I am grateful. Really.
Here is my half-finished song, my real closer for the night, performed slightly drunkenly at Jonathan Churcher’s house (I tried to convince him to do a whistle solo but alas, I was not convincing enough). Enjoy!