One year ago I toured the South, making Tennessee the focal point of my expedition. The universe brought me at the footstep of three perfect strangers, just two days after they had moved into their new house in East Nashville. For eight days they welcomed me into their new home, as the estranged, aspiring New York singer-songwriter crashing on their couch and making noise in their living room. By day seven, our bond had fully bloomed. By day nine, I found myself leaving with swelled, watery eyes not knowing how much time would pass before I'd have the opportunity to make it back to Nashville.
Weeks passed, and summer began to rapidly morph into fall. One another again we found; this time they, at my doorstep in Rochester, NY. Briefly, we united to exchange worlds Thursday through Sunday. Proving that Northern hospitality exists, I showed them everything and all of what I believed to be beautiful in both Rochester and New York City. My biggest priority that weekend was to provide them with an experience that they'd forever be grateful for, just as they had done for me during my visit in Nashville.
Laughter. Those whom which I hold closest to in my heart are the ones whom which I can laugh and cry hardest with. Those are the friends that I'll keep by my side forever. Dry moments don't ever exist with these three, and that's how I knew from the very beginning that our friendship was one of sincere value.
These are the days which I live for laughter, and need it most. Up until the past few months, I never before deemed it possible to feel such a broad number of emotions in such a brief span of time. The occurrences, the progression, the acceptance, the reality, the excitement, the fear….. it's all very emotionally taxing. At times it felt like I was walking head on, in slow motion, towards a tidal wave. The anxiety, overwhelming. My thoughts, disturbed.
For almost six months I had this week reserved on my calendar in anticipation of a possible second tour down south in promotion of my recent album release with my Trio. As all begun to unravel in my personal life, so did my chances of touring. The push of my friend, ridiculously cheap airfare, gut instinct, and desire to break free prompted me to book a round trip flight to Nashville. I've never been soo grateful for having had done so. The wealth of distraction back home expedited the arrival of my journey. In all honesty, I felt the least bit prepared, but longed for the escape.
All feelings of airport aggravation and exhaustion quickly were dismissed the moment Spencer arrived to pick me up from the airport. Into the car he helped me load my guitar and luggage, and we gave one another one big embrace hello. The southern humidity suctioning to my skin, the sun extending it's rays over the city skyline for it's final hour of the day; I felt a sense of familiarity and immediately felt at ease. It felt good to be back home.
Some of my favorite moments in life are the ones that showed up ever most unexpectedly. They are what define my travels, experiences, outlook and often are shared with perfect strangers. It makes me wonder if naturally we set expectations for those who are closest to us that aren't meant to be met according to the Universe.Back home, there are certain expectations to live up to, but here, all I have to offer is myself entirely. Vulnerability can be a beautiful thing. I am in my element, I am alone, and in my palm, I contain the power to choose. My choices are what will navigate me through the experiences which ultimately determine my future. Being in a larger city, head on with some steep competition, and where I'm most susceptible to criticism, I Ironically feel more carefree and at ease. All outside pressure is eliminated beyond the pressure that I put on myself because I'm already feeding at the bottom. Coming from whatever angle, the only way I have to travel is up.
Soaking in each waking moment, I'm left to choose wisely who, what, where, and how I want to spend my time. It's liberating, and in ways, I've gained a new appreciation for myself because of it. I think of how much I've grown over the past years, and the many variations of myself that have come along the way in the process. Certain people bring out certain characteristics, some which I've even believed to have far surpassed. Being in Nashville reminds me of being in music school again. Perfect strangers we are, all a bit lonely and lost, but determined to make the most doing the one thing we know how to do best. The outreach of friendliness is incredible. It's like freshman orientation where everyone is looking to make friends and to find their voice in their new surroundings. Collectively we are a sea of gifted strangers who have been released into the wild. Our will and passion to better ourselves and further pursue our careers is what bonds us together.
Thursday night I attended "Live on The Green" concert series in the heart of Music City, standing among 20,000 Nashville residents and visitors. To my delight, my new favorite band "The Head and the Heart" were the headliners, which was coincidental as I had seen them a few months prior to my trip as openers for "Death Cab for Cutie" in NY. I attended with my friend Brendan and various others whom were friends of friends.
The music, the all round energy, the scenery, the harmonious crowd singing back to the band, THE BAND; I never felt sooo inspired in my life. For the very first time I even considered becoming a groupie. Everyone in the band played a significant role, and soo much heart poured into the music and their energy on stage. My mouth watered, craving a piece of the band's euphoria. I could only imagine how they must've felt on stage. I hope that some day my music can have such an impact as theirs had on me that night.
Closer and closer to the stage Brendan and I moseyed up as any open spaces became available. I shut my eyes to listen, still in my own darkness, left to feel and to allow my body to react accordingly. The energy was powerful and uplifting, and I couldn't relax my face from grinning. It was in that moment that I was among perfect strangers; sharing a beautiful moment, belly up, floating on the waves of sound. Soul meeting souls, and our differences, all but the same. A bonding connection; the bass, my beating pulse. It felt good to feel alive again.
"I'll tell you one thing
We aint gonna change much
The sun still rises
even with the pain." - The Head and the Heart