The Show Goes On

Work has been all consuming recently in a way that leaves me wondering, “Why I do whatever it is that I do at work?”  Is that how a midlife crisis feels?  Pondering questions and searching for meaning and purpose?  If  it is  indeed a midlife crisis, would I even know it?

So…

Tonight, Sara Bareilles played live in Vancouver, but I’m here in Calgary.  Yes, I’m simply here, and slightly disappointed that I’m still in Calgary.  Just like most nights…

Brave_Tour

When I first heard Sara Bareilles was playing a couple Canadian cities, Toronto and Vancouver, I thought, “This is my chance!  I’ll fly to Vancouver, see the concert, and catch an overnight flight back after the show.  That way I won’t even have to spring for a hotel!  I could even be back in time to be at work the next morning (not that I would be productive).  The concert takes place at this artsy little theater called the Rio, and Vancouver’s Sky Train has a station close by the theater… I won’t even have to rent a car.  This will be awesome!”

WestJet

Alas, it wasn’t meant to be.  Flights to either Canadian mega-city were a wee bit outside my budget.  And not that it would be so bad to break the budget once in a while.  My problem is that I’ve already broken the budget one too many times.

While I wallow in my disappointment, being tired from work, I’m left to express my thoughts here.  While writing this entry, I happen on this concert clip which just seems to go with the moment…

Special thanks to Peter Wu for uploading this clip to YouTube

Maybe a letter, the kind that never gets sent, would be appropriate for the moment…

Dear Sara,

You don’t know me, and I suspect we’ll never meet face-to-face.  If we ever did meet, I  wouldn’t know what to say and nor would it sound intelligent.  I’m pretty sure if we had went to school together, we would have been freakish friends at best.  Okay, I’d probably been the freakish one.

I wish I’d been able to make your concert tonight.  It wasn’t meant to be this time, but rest assured, I’ll add it to my future bucket list (and mark it: things to do for sure).  Instead, tonight I’m doing the dad thing, the trying to do the right and responsible dad thing for my wife and kids.

“What?” you ask.  A father that listens to your music…?  I know, I know.  I’m not your usual demographic, but for some reason much of your music resonates with me.

I hope your next album, Blessed Unrest, proves to be a huge commercial success (that way you’ll keep touring, and maybe even come to Calgary one day.  No?  I guess a Calgarian can always dream).  Until then… all the best to you!

Sincerely,

Dad (not to be confused with your own Dad)

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Brave

Brave

Sara Bareilles has an album releasing in the not too distant future.  It sounds like it will be titled The Blessed Unrest.  A new single entitled Brave releases to the world on April 23rd.  Hear it here…

It’s quickly growing on me.   Sara’s last EP, Once Upon A Time, really sparked my imagination, left me day-dreaming, and brought me many smiles.  I’m not a vocalist nor musician by any stretch of the imagination.  If I was, I’m left wondering  how I would name my albums.  Here’s a fun insight into Sara’s thought process for naming her next album:

I love the classic gas station “dinging” sound for each album name.  I’ll have to make something similar for my smart phone notifications.

I don’t really know anything about Martha Graham.  I gather she has something important to do with dance (or dance ideology).  I also dance very seldom  and infrequently in public (Elaine’s dance from Seinfeld immediately comes to mind), but I was intrigued by the quote Sara mentions in the video clip.  Martha Graham is quoted as saying…

There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. … No artist is pleased. [There is] no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.
~ As quoted in The Life and Work of Martha Graham (1991) by Agnes de Mille, p. 264, ISBN 0-394-55643-7.

At first glance, I’m sceptical.  What’s she really saying… a life force?  I agree, we all have a God-given soul, but I’m not sure if I’d call it a life force?  I’m reading the part about unique expression and equating to creativity (or creative spirit).  I agree.  I think God has enriched each person with unique talents and gifts, most of which too easily get dismissed or squandered away.  And it seems true, that when people suppress their gifts and talents (for whatever reason), people around them, their community, society as a whole, everyone loses out on that individual’s God-given abilities.

I would caution people to “keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open.”  I think I get her context, but certainly would NOT suggest that a person be open to urges that drive him to overeat or to drink in excess (or even worse things I’m now imagining as I type this).

“…No artist is pleased.”

This is such an understatement about perfectionism.  I wrestle with this in my work, my writing, my photography, my drawings, my painting, and almost every part of my life.  Just trying to write a blog just about kills me at times (maybe because I’m such a newbie).  I can relate to a consistent state of dissatisfaction with many things, creative things, and various parts of my life.  The unrest… it bugs me.   I’ve never thought of it as a blessed unrest, but it’s eerily familiar.

I find some inspiration and encouragement in the Brave song lyrics…

Let your words be anything but empty
Why don’t you tell them the truth?

Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave