I arrived home Sunday late afternoon after my first weekend out with Plumb's Exhale Tour. For these five weekends, I am the first (and smaller) of two openers, the other being a band from New Zealand called Rapture Ruckus.It's an eclectic line-up, with RR's high energy pop/rap and Plumb's gorgeously massive vocals set against lights and electric guitar. And there's me with my keyboard. I joke, but in truth I humbly and gratefully embrace my role filling the quieter, singer-songwriter space at the front.
"Come Close Now" especially resonated with people this week, and they often came to the table asking for "the fire song." It makes me so happy to see again and again that music mystically enters the most sacred spaces of a stranger's life, where I myself cannot go.
Our family has been in such an unusual state of upheaval over the past several months that I was unaware of the full extent of my stress level until it began showing up as headaches and sick stomach, which resolved itself once I was settled onto the tour bus.
Here is where I interrupt this journal to send out a public thank you - from the bottom of my heart - to the people in our church & family & community (local and far-0ff) who have taken care of us in SO many ways recently. We have been so humbled in a very good way to depend on you & so aware of how real your love is - for us and for God. And how real His love for us is.
So, for the curious...the highs & lows of the first weekend on a tour bus?
...initial anxiety of being completely clueless regarding absolutely everything. Here's something true: If you say "yes" to things beyond your comfort zone, you're gonna be uncomfortable. Deep, huh?
...and...that's about it, unless you count the fact that I never read more than one paragraph of the book I brought along for bedtime (The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho)
...overcoming said anxieties with experience. The great thing about the first time is there is only one first time. You get over the hump pretty quickly.
...the food. Hello. I asked the bands: How do you do this all the time and not weigh twice as much as you do??? Eat, set up, eat, soundcheck, eat, perform, load out, eat, sleep, repeat.
...the black-out curtain on bus bunks. I slept well inside my little coffin.
...being parked in the Chautauqua State Park Saturday, which was beautiful and gave me the chance to escape for a quiet walk. I need nature like some people need Diet Coke.
...NOT having to set up and run a portable PA. It's 1000x easier and more pleasurable to play & sing with a great sound system.
...by far, my favorite thing is meeting the people who volunteer at the events and the people who stop by the table afterwards to connect. I have zero interest in being on any kind of pedestal and find the best antidote is to stay busy working alongside other people, swapping stories.
After four nights on the bus, I was greeted by my brother-in-law & enjoyed several hours with him & my sister, Mandy (of COVERS art fame), sipping coffee and eating donuts & pasta (health).
I arrived home to cool, gray Carolina skies (tropical storm off the coast), a 6th grade science project, and a delicious rice & chicken dish prepared by friends from church.
Daily chores & cuddles & quiet hours of solitude are welcome on these days between travel. Mom arrives to help tomorrow & I'm looking forward to a day with her before I leave.
Getting to do this work is a gift. Obviously. I know that well & will remind myself of that on the days when I don't really feel like getting on a plane.
Today, I'm home and practicing the art of being present.
Also, I will practice hiding my disgust as a take my little girl & her hamster who murdered his partner and has now scratched all his hair off to the vet. #reallife