Wherever You Go, There You Are

Day Nineteen.

Made it. Mission accomplished. Nineteen entries in nineteen days. Perfect game. Well, not perfect. Admittedly, some of them were kind of shaky. But still. Got the job done. This has been a fun challenge and a rewarding exercise. Unfortunately, I can't promise to recreate it on future tours. I'd be lying if I said it hasn't been a strain at times.  I can think of a few days where I certainly would have been better fed, better rested, or better prepared if not for the fact that I had to make the time to sit down and write something. Still, knowing that I have done this and can do this is a pretty good confidence booster, and that should hopefully translate into future productivity.  Maybe I'll try to post one every other day when we get back on the road in March.  Maybe. But for now, I'd just like to say thank you for reading all of these words. Thank you for supporting this endeavor, for bearing with me and indulging my tangents, and for being generally nice, cool people.

Okay, on with the show.

We're off the bus tonight. As I write this I am stretched out on a bed that feels like it's about a mile across, about to go to town on what thanks to an extortionate minimum delivery charge is entirely too much Chinese food (file under: "would have been better fed”).

The Pacific Northwest has been a wonderful host thus far. After leaving California, I was a bit worried that we were going to miss the comfort of seeing some of the same faces in the audience multiple nights in a row, but frankly that's my bad; I shouldn't have doubted y'all. It warms my heart to have seen and spoken to a few folks who are giving it the old Northwest Three-peat (which is not as dirty as it sounds). Last night's show at Revolution Hall was lovely. Revolution Hall, as it turns out, is a shuttered high school building that was re-opened as a theatre/cafe/project space/I don't know what else. It's not every day I get to sip on a post-show beer in what clearly used to be a teacher's lounge.  Good times.

Every once in a while, I'll end up with a faulty microphone stand during sound check. I won't bore you with the technical details (mostly because I don't know the proper names for the various parts of a microphone stand), but the point is that every time it happens, I think the same thing:

"Why do I always get the busted mic stand?”

For a long time, I was the same way with double doors. I used to believe, whenever there was a set of double doors that I had to go through, and only one of the doors was actually open, that there was a one hundred percent chance I would try the locked door first. It took me until I was embarrassingly deep into my twenties to realize that I've probably encountered that situation hundreds of times and just picked the unlocked door on the first try. It's not like I'm going to walk through door number one and then go back and try number two just out of curiosity, and unless I start doing that I have no possible way of knowing my ratio of success in this situation. It's not that it always happens, it's that I don't notice when it doesn't happen.

It's the same thing with the microphone stands. I'm sure my bandmates get worn-out stands just as often I do, but I just don't realize when it happens to them because I'm busy moving myself one inch to the left and then one inch back to the right for the four hundred thousandth time since we started sound check. I guess that's human nature. We're often so preoccupied with our own stuff that we're oblivious to the struggles of those around us. To quote the contemporary poet Tay Zonday: "build a tent and say the world is dry/zoom the camera out and see the lie.” It's easy to forget that other people are actually people, and that behind the eyes of every single "other” swims the sheer, impossible marvel of the human consciousness- reason, memory, imagination, intuition- and that, for the most part, we're all pretty much flying blind, making educated guesses based on tiny pinpricks of perception and trying our damnedest to do the right thing. This isn't a particularly original thought, but I do often wonder how many of the world's ills could be healed if only we had the power to see what others see. The best we can do, I suppose, is to listen to each other's stories, and to believe.