It's been one week and I am finally finding a truly quiet 30 minutes or so to ask myself how I'm feeling and waiting a beat for the answer. This is something, by the way, that I am working on doing more and more of in my life, but that's a topic for another post. (ps: it's hard)
Last week I produced and sang in a benefit concert here in NYC. It was titled "So Far" and was a collection of songs that have gotten me through the last few years, and included a collection of people who have done the same thing. It's always a TON of work to get something this complex together and keep it moving forward over almost a year of time. Not to mention that I was going to be singing on most of the pieces...there were a few moments where I wondered if I had undertaken more than I could deliver. But I love music and I knew that I had the idea for a reason - so onward.
The night arrived and I asked everyone for 10 quiet minutes in my dressing room with Kelley, my hair and makeup wizard, before the show began. She did her thing while I found my breath and thought about what I would do in a few minutes.
All I knew for sure is that I didn't want this night to pass and not be in the moment, not really live in each song and tell the story. I didn't want to get to the end of the concert and not have been present for any of it. I wanted to connect with the audience and also very deeply with myself. Lastly, I think I also wanted to prove to myself that I could do it. Admittedly, it's been a minute since I carried a show, and I just wanted to give a few moments of joy to the audience. To celebrate, through music, that we are all still here. And that's the biggest gift.
The night was a huge success. In every way you could measure it, it was a great evening. The students who were a part of the benefitting non-profit, and the Founder of that organization were in the audience and made memories they won't soon forget. It's gratifying to know that I still got it - both as an artist and a producer. But I wasn't alone.
Among the many in my tribe, my therapist has lived into an important spot. The day before the concert I had a session with my therapist - I nearly broke down. You see, I remembered that the reason behind all of this was just one simple and profound idea - that each one of us really does not know how much longer we have here. And because we know that much, we should each just celebrate.
Celebrate big and celebrate small. Celebrate with a band and lights and a sparkly dress, and also celebrate with two deep breaths standing just off stage before you decide to walk on, stepping into the next moments you planned for a year, just saying "Thank. You."