When the Heart’s Involved, Magic May Blossom
Every once in a while I am just too smart for my own good. No, really! Usually it starts long before I notice it, which is about the time I realize the futility of life. I am dramatic so it takes me to get to that point!
I can always tell when my intellect is no longer serving me as a tool but as an overlord when I began to wonder, “What’s the point of all of this?” But then I remember that THOSE words are just a foil for fear… and it’s time to reign in my thinking mind and return to my sense of childlike wonder and naivete.
I can practically hear you among my more practical friends tsking and shrieking and sighing and harrumphing. But I say, either way, the rain is gonna fall and the sun is gonna shine. And since I can go through this temporary condition called “life” with fear or wonder (or, a combo of both), I say, why not go through it with as much joy and grace as possible?
Here is an example of how that works for me.
A few years ago, goodness, almost ten now, back in my hometown of Minneapolis, my best friend Josh and I shared, among many things, a love of the Divine Ms M.
That’s Bette Midler, to the uninitiated.
Josh and I had a mutual friend, Sean. He was the most gangster gay dude I’d met up until that point and completely blew my mind of any remaining stereotypes. (Wait… um, at least those of which I am aware.) One day, Sean offered to take me and Josh to see Bette at the Target Center in a month.
A few weeks later, Sean called me. “Okay, don’t tell Josh, but I had to sell the tickets on Ebay. But I’ll get replacements.” Um, Okay…
The night of the show, we arranged to all three meet at a restaurant across the street from the venue. I arrived first, post Ballet of The Dolls dance class. I was red cheeked from the cold December night. Then, Josh walked into the restaurant. We shared that buzz of pre-concert excitement.
We waited for our third party to come to dinner, but he never showed. We decided he was probably stuck in traffic, and sat down to eat. I thought back to that phone call… should I tell Josh? I had promised I wouldn’t. It was getting close to show time and we still had no sign of Sean- or our tickets.
Josh called Sean. Then he called again. He called again. Finally, an answer. Sean told us he wasn’t coming because he had to babysit, but we could come to Plymouth (a suburb) to get the tickets. Then, unexpectedly, we got cut off and when we tried calling back, the phone died.
It was time to reveal what I knew.
Josh looked so blue as I told him of the phone conversation.
“Oh well,” he said, shrugging his shoulders up and down in an oversized blue cardigan sweater. “We can just go get coffee or something.”
Something struck a chord in me, in my heart.
“No,” I said, “Let’s just go over there.”
Josh looked at me curiously. He shrugged once more.
“Okay,” he said.
We walked to the box office of the venue, crowded with excited concert-goers of surprisingly every age, race, color, and creed. I love the unifying force of music that can bring together very different kinds of people! Of course, it was December in Minnesota, so you had to look closely through the veneer of parkas, scarves, and hats…
I approached the box office, M-Z. All three of us had last names beginning with “M.” Josh tagged behind, unsure of what I was doing, but watching curiously.
I told the lady at the office our tale. A jolly gal, she smiled and thought of potential solutions. Did we have the credit card used to purchase the tickets? Could we call him and have him call the credit card number in? Finally, plum out of ideas, she cocked her head to one side and looked at us consolingly.
“I guess you’ll have to wait ‘til he shows up with your tickets, then,” she said. She smiled.
As a side note of interest: I hadn’t noticed then, but in retrospect, and after having lived in major cities FAR less friendly and sweet than Minneapolis is in general, it’s so lovely that she never once acted like we were a burden, nor did she shoo us away immediately upon the discovery that we couldn’t get our tickets from her. As we say in the Midwestern vernacular, she was real nice.
Josh and I slowly made our way to the front doors. Josh wanted to speed ahead but I stopped and stood still. I did not know why, but we had to stay put.
“Come on,” he said, “Let’s go.”
“No,” I said, “Just wait.”
“What for?” he asked.
“I don’t know,” I said. “We just have to wait.”
By now the lights were blinking to let us know the show was starting. The people in the lobby were all moving in droves into the stadium itself and soon we were a few of the only people left in the lobby.
“What. Are we going to try to listen from here?” Josh joked, unfolding his large navy blue winter coat from being draped over his arm.
“I guess,” I said, but still not moving, “We should go.” And yet I could not budge.
Just then, a man emerged from seemingly nowhere, although, really, he was standing against the north wall of the lobby.
“Excuse me,” he said, “Are you waiting for your tickets?”
“We don’t think they’re coming,” I said. Now it was my time to shrug.
“Here,” he said, holding his hand out. “Take mine!
“Really?” I squealed and grabbed those tickets before he changed his mind. He looked a bit surprised, but answered,
“Yeah. I don’t think my date is coming.”
“Oh, thank you!” I gushed, hugging him. Then Josh said “Thank you,” and hugged him too, which seemed to really surprise the man. He smiled. “You’ll have more fun than me,” he said. He left then and Josh and ran in to the venue just as Bette’s band was striking up…We shrieked in joy as we discovered that our seats were in the front balcony, dead center.
And Bette began her final performance of her KISS MY BRASS tour. And she was awesome.
...Now, I tell that story as an example of what happens when you listen to, and follow, your heart! No matter how silly and unlikely it may seem… and not to be attached to any outcome whatsoever but merely because you must you must you MUST… You cannot NOT do this thing, whether it is starting a cupcake business or waiting for tickets for a show for no reason or getting married or having kids or not having kids or starting a new career…. If it’s in your heart, there’s a reason.
So right now, I am recording this album. It’s eclectic and varied, just like my life as a singer. It’s like a greatest hits album even though I’m young in my career! Voice and piano, or voice and guitar. Simple, beautiful, classic songs. Arias, standards, a couple originals. …
I got a little nervous about it this morning, before I headed to the studio to work with Russ, the producer… what if it doesn’t work out? (But then, aren’t I having a blast in the meantime, raising money, singing, growing, stretching, as an artist, and believing in myself and my gifts?) What if I don’t raise the money on IndieGoGo? (Then I will come up with the money another way. There is always a way! At least 5 or 6, really!) Am I doing the right thing? (Too late to worry about right or wrong, I’m already 1/3 of the way through recording!)
See, I wrote this blog not just for you all, but for me, to remind myself that it is time for some more faith, particularly of the childlike variety.
I am ready to be surprised again by whatever may come. ‘Cause whatever it is, my heart’s involved. And that’s why it’s scary, and that’s why it’s worth it, and that’s why there may be magic…