Thursday, October 27, 2011

Firsts -- How the Tour Began

For an entire month this Fall (2011), Deborah Henson-Conant and I threw ourselves into a joint traveling adventure of performances, workshops, and the ongoing development / implementation of fantastical ideas and dreams.

Very early on an uncloudy day, I was dropped off at the airport to catch a flight to Boston.  I was to play with Deborah Henson-Conant and Katya Hermann at the Regent Theater that afternoon, as a sort of kick-off to the month-long fall tour that DHC and I were embarking on together.

And then I got stuck in the airport for over twelve hours under clear unfettered skies.

I chose a sunny window spot to camp out with my new Mac laptop, my snacks (almonds, raw raisin oatmeal cookies, chocolate), and my journal.  Fine, I thought, I'll use this time to catch up on all I said I would do but conveniently haven't.   

I dove in with zeal, not accounting for eye strain as a result of staring at the computer too long, nor for feeling sick after eating only said snacks, nor for being just plain frustrated that there had been so much anxious preparatory buildup to this tour and I still hadn't even left the ground.

And then, slowly, it became a day of Firsts.

It was the first 25th of September in many years I didn't feel a painful simmering anniversary ache.

It was the first official mention of being "a harpist on tour" and it yielded me complimentary cabfare from the Boston airport to DHC's.

It was the first tour veggie sandwich I admitted I needed, which became the signature staple go-to meal for both DHC and I for the next 30 days.

It was the first time of many on the tour that I held the contradictory -- or dichotomous? -- thought that my current situation was incredibly insane and perfectly fine.

It was the first time I consciously and clear-headedly asked for help and support.  I composed a message to everyone I knew and invited them to sign up for my newsletter, and provided ways they could contribute to this adventure if it felt right.  Stepping out into the belief that I was not alone, that people might be interested in what I was doing, especially while stuck for hours on end by myself in the airport, felt both bold and stupid.  And worth trying.

And people responded.  They sent me notes, they sent me money, they sent me pictures, they sent me blessings.  They bought my handmade items, they signed up for something I wasn't sure I could follow through with, they shared my postings, they held the light while I stood on the shadowy shifting edge of the Unknown.

And I hadn't even left the ground yet.  (Thank you).

How will you step up and out today?

Another imperfect post, this time accompanied by:
Reverie, the new deliciously gritty basement-produced album by Joe Henry.  Link to NPR interview here  -- "and... this person who feels very alone starts imagining the expanse of the world outside of his small little encampment."
Other tour posts (in non-chronological order):

**** The tour schedule:
Sept 27 -- Fireworks workshop w/ Deborah Henson-Conant, Pottstown, PA
Oct 1-2 -- w/ Deborah Henson-Conant, Denver, CO
Oct 4 -- w/ Deborah Henson-Conant, Liberal, KS
Oct 7-8 -- w/ Deborah Henson-Conant, Gallipolis, OH / Point Pleasant, WV
Oct 9 -- w/ Deborah Henson-Conant, Efland, NC
Oct 14 -- w/ Deborah Henson-Conant, Lake City, FL
Oct 16 -- Fireworks workshop w/ Deborah Henson-Conant, Greensboro, NC
Oct 17 -- w/ Deborah Henson-Conant, New Bern, NC
Oct 18-19 -- w/ Deborah Henson-Conant, Asheville, NC
Oct 20 -- w/ Deborah Henson-Conant, Waynesboro, PA
Oct 21 -- w/ Deborah Henson-Conant, Westminster, MD
Oct 23 -- w/ Deborah Henson-Conant, Clearfield, PA

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