The album release for Building Heaven was this past Sunday and it was magical. This had to be one of the best times I've ever had at a show - hands down! So much love and support, my heart was so full and encouraged after everyones kind words and enthusiasm, and the place was packed!!!
After I got dressed and ready I was having a quick bite in the "green room" (church office - haha) and some adorable 6 or 7 year old girls came in looking for their daddies. Upon seeing me they stopped in their tracks and said "WHOA.... PRETTY!!!!!" (referring to my big black tutu and layers of crazy metal necklaces). I responded "Oh, do you like my tutu?" and they both said "YESSSSSSS, but why are you wearing it?" and I replied "because it makes people smile and that makes me very happy". At which point they both grinned widely. Tutu = magic.
We played plenty of fun songs, a couple sweet romantic ones, and then came the time for some heavy lifting...
One of the last songs in the set was "As You go". It's a very deep and significant song for me and I spent a few minutes talking about how it was written.... about 15 seconds in I was like "Holy crap, what have I done? I just jumped into the deep end!". Basically, it's about the anxiety I had about being present when someone I love is experiencing their final moments on earth. I want to be able to love and honor the people in my life until their final breaths and I had often wondered if I would be strong enough to do so. I've had three grandparents pass away (all well into their eighties and nineties) and I had a deep sadness about not being there for them in those moments... but strangely also some relief and maybe guilt because I imagined it would more painful to hold their hands as they went. It's not about losing the person or the status of their souls, it's about the tension of that moment. If you've read my blog, you might know that I had the chance to confront my fears about this when Kevin (my husband) fell very ill about two years ago. I was there in the emergency room holding his hand and looking into his panicked eyes as they tried 8 times to get an IV into his veins while his heart was going all kinds of crazy. I had peace. There was only love. We made it through, and I learned that my instinct is not to run... and that was a beautiful lesson, because I want to be present emotionally and physically, no matter what.
I talked about the song, teared up, apologized, and was able to let go and enjoy the experience of sharing something so deep with everyone there (cracking emo voice and all). A couple of close friends laughed and high fived me afterward because they said it was the first time they had ever heard me miss a note or two which confirmed in their minds that I was in fact human and not actually a cyborg (haha).
After the show a very sweet elderly woman named Shirley approached me. She explained to me that she had a hearing aid and was not able to understand everything I had said when talking about "As You Go". She said "I don't want to make you sad... but could you tell me the story of that song again?". I laughed and smiled and said "I would love to". She got misty eyed, and I could see that she was recounting something very significant as I shared my story. She held my hand and thanked me afterward. I was so blessed by this! A woman in her seventies came to my show and was moved by my song!!! HOW AMAZING IS THAT!!!!
A HUGE heartfelt "thank you" to everyone who came and shared the night. So many people helped make it a success. Thank you Petri for the lighting design, Aaron for the sound, the opening band for some sweet warmup jams, Sean and Kesha and John Brazell for the outside entertainment, my lovely band for their constant support and dedication (Kevin, Daniel, Abe, Sean, and Steven), Juliann and Bethany for the sweatshop sessions with tulle and runs to the fashion district , Kathe for the food and drinks, Bob for the lift and set design, and Crescenta Valley church for the opportunity and every pair of hands that set up chairs, swept, cleaned, hung flyers, invited a neighbor, and showed up!!
I felt heard and loved and truly cherished.