Yesterday was quite an experience, from performing outdoors on one of the hottest and most humid days of the summer to misplacing the CD to music tracks to two of the percussion songs we were planning to do that day.
Have you ever had one of those dreams where you are just about to sing or take a test, and then you suddenly realize you have no idea what the lyrics are or what the test is about? Whatever the situation, you’re just not ready! Well, it was kind of like that.
Five minutes before the opening drumming, Stacey asks me, “Where’s the CD?” and I go GASP! I know I made one. I know I brought it, but somewhere between the setting up the equipment and vendor table and changing into our performing clothes, it fell out, got misplaced, was snatched up by the Festival Gremlin.
The drummers started playing. I’m running back to the car (parked right next to the portable toilets that gave off a heavenly aroma yards away because of the sweltering heat), back to the dressing room, out to the vending table and around the stage. Tammi, the head drummer, looks at me and says, “Any time now” as I’m rushing off the stage again and saying, “One minute!”
I couldn’t find it. I couldn’t believe it, but I couldn’t find it! I had to tell Stace, “We have to go on! I can’t find it…We have to go on!”
So we did. And we did “Future Song” which we weren’t planning to do instead of the two more upbeat ones (one of which Stacey sang lead in and the drummers were going to join us). And I felt bad, but we just had to do what we had to do.
I was grateful, at least, we were able to have a clipboard up on Stacey’s keyboard, so I could place my lyrics there, and that my mic was naturally placed where I could see it, because of the drums (which we weren’t really going to need anyway). We were opening with a brand new song I just wrote a couple of days ago. I knew it enough to know I could sing it if I concentrated 100% on it, but if anything distracted me, my mind could go blank.
I was so shaken with losing that CD, there’s no way I would have been able to make it through that song without the help of that cheat sheet within my view.
So we made it through the first song all right. We then go into “For the Sake of Love”, and then into “Future Song”. I thought to myself, “Well, there’s someone here I’m singing this song for.” Because we weren’t planning to do it, but now had to, I felt there was someone who needed or wanted to hear it. I looked at a woman that I had noticed was listening intently before. I thought, “I’m singing this for her.”
No sooner had I gone through the first half of the first verse, but she got up and began to dance…beautiful and slow. She looked at me, our eyes locked a moment. She asked with her eyes if it was all right. I smiled and nodded my head yes. It was the most beautiful thing I ever saw.
I sing this song mostly with my eyes closed. It’s like a prayer to me, but every now and then I’d open my eyes, and I saw that there were moments we were in sync with one another. I would raise my hand up on a note and she would be reaching upward with a graceful arch of her arm, and she was not looking at me. We were co-creating this song together.
Afterwards, we bowed to one another.
Stacey and I ended the set with “We Shall Overcome/Last Night I had the Strangest Dream”. The set went very well, and we received such positive responses from people. It was just a very sedate set!
Anyway, afterwards the dancer and I connected. I hope to see her again and co-create some more music with her, as well as have her mentor my daughter in dance. I watched her drum and dance in Bumbada, an awesome women’s drumming group, and I see a great deal of similarity between her dancing and the dancing that flows through my daughter.
So we spent the afternoon enjoying some really terrific music and meeting some of the nicest people. I want to thank everyone who was there, and just want you to know how much you added to the enjoyment of the day – whether you participated on stage or stopped by my table to talk. Thank you for being a blessing.
We left late afternoon. Would have stayed if I wasn’t so drained by the heat. We stopped for dinner and ice cream, and noticed the sky was darkening. Stacey made some kind of joke about at least a storm would cool things down and I said, yeah, but I didn’t want to drive home in the wind with flying tree limbs through the air.
So guess what happened? On the way home the sky cracked open, the car struggled to stay on the road as we were hit by gusts of high winds, lightening streaked across vertically and horizontally across the skies, and we drove through a deluge of rain and hail. Marble sized hail. Fortunately, we were close enough to a little country store out in the…well, country, and took refuge under the gas station roof, along with a number of other people.
When it slowed down, we drove home. I had to weave in, around and over fallen tree limbs and branches, and hope other cars weren’t coming around the bend in the opposite direction a couple of times.
All and all, I’d say it was a very interesting day. I was so glad to be able to finally crash in my own bed, but I went to bed happy with a sense of taking another step in the right direction toward the unfolding a dream, both personal and communal.