Found Meaning and The Value of Free Time While on Tour

This tour is positively whipping on by.   Although we would have loved to have had a couple more shows lined up, things are moving fairly swiftly considering we’ve had a bit of downtime.   I have zero problems with this.   I strongly believe in leaving space open for the unexpected and allowing the time to explore said “unexpected.”

Ryan and I consider ourselves fairly lucky in that we both have day jobs that treat us fairly well.  We haven’t yet made the leap to full-time musicians, nor at this stage could we afford to.   Tours like these happen when we are both able to take the time off and coordinate a substantial list of places to show up and do our thing.  We rely on this time to make the loudest bang we can until we are able to hit the road again.   This brings me back to the down time….TY

Because our shows are generally in the evenings, we have most of the day to do the administrative work, laundry, blogging, game-planning, rehearsing and reflection.   For example, today will be spent writing “Thank You” cards to folks who made donations to the cause in absentia.   These were a completely unexpected gift and we wanted to make sure they were acknowledged.

We also had a free day to spend with a few people we haven’t seen in a long time.  First up were Jade Stone and Mike Lisching.  Jade’s family hosted us at their unbelievably beautiful home in Orange County the previous day.   It was an intimate crowd and Ryan did his best to play to the fine folks in the balcony.

Photo by Gary Stone

Photo by Gary Stone

Jade and Mike took us on a kayak tour of Balboa Island.  The weather was perfect and the water was unreal.   So too, for that matter, were the houses.   Holy moneybags, Batman.   Jade’s family is third generation Los Angelesian (to coin a term) and her grandfather had a cute, modest house nestled in between some of the most extravagant expenditures of the American dollar either of us had ever seen.  It appeared as though each house came with a yacht and a private dock.   There was a tribute to a Tuscan Villa, a Provincial Palace, and something in the relative size and shape of the New York Public Library.  One house even had a dinosaur creeping out of the trees.  At least there is a sense of humor about the whole thing.  I think…..Needless to say, we were impressed.

After a sweet jam session with Mike and Jade, we shoved off to La Mesa to visit an old friend of mine who invited us down the night before.   I haven’t seen this person since she and her husband were married three years ago and, before that, I hadn’t seen her since I left New York City.   We were VERY close.   We were also fairly young at the time and ended up having a bit of a falling out.  Blame it on whatever or whoever. I simply chalk it up to us being young and struggling to be the superstars we had set out to be.   It was a devastating time for me and I was unsure if we would ever reconcile.  When I received the invitation to her wedding some years later, I was shocked and humbled.  So I decided to go, alone, not knowing at all what to expect.   This is the thing about me; When I decide to jump into the deep end, I jump in naked.  In the interest of time and bandwidth, I’ll just say that my heart was warmed and I was welcomed by her friends and family. I was truly honored to be a part of the celebration.   After the wedding, we touched base here or there,  but unfortunately life is such that even the internet can’t truly keep people as connected as it is in our nature to be sometimes.   So, when Holly invited us down to visit her and her and her husband Jesse in their home that evening, I was all over it.   Two hour drive be damned, I was going to see my old friend again.

This is the part where leaving time to explore the unexpected is essential to a tour (or existence for that matter).   You know those friendships that can have years of space and hundreds of miles of time between them?  The ones where those years and miles melt away as if they never happened and you pick up right were you left off?   This is that friendship.  At least it is to me.   The conversation started and didn’t stop until the next day when we packed ourselves into my car to drive back up north.    However, before we did that, we made time for a bit of an impromptu artistic collaboration between the four of us.  This was the icing on the cake for a few reasons:

  1. I have always been impressed by Holly’s wit and resourcefulness.  She is one of the sharpest people I know and together with her husband, is building and running an impressive multi-media business out of their home.  We were STOKED that they asked us to stay and play.
  2. Ryan and I were able to see what an amazing team Holly and Jesse are together.  It was almost seamless. After watching this pair communicate and execute their work, I had to ask what their secret was.  I was relieved and humbled to hear that (as are many relationships and partnerships)  it was a work in progress.  Not to get too grandiose with this concept, but it gave me incredible respect for the human ability to overcome personal obstacles and work together towards something greater.
  3. I was able to see Ryan let go of the reigns a bit.  Usually, Ryan is the producer, engineer on TOP of being the musician. This time Jesse and Holly had it covered.  They know what they are doing and we could both just sit back and be musicians.  It was lovely.

    Holly with her rig at WorkPlay

    Holly with her rig at work/play

Unfortunately I didn’t get a shot with Jesse in it.  There was just too much awesome stuff happening to do all of the things that I wanted to do.  For instance, we forgot to leave them with an arm full of CDs before we left in a daze.  (DOH!)  There will MOST DEFINITELY be a care package in these fine folks’ future.

I can’t stress enough how valuable this time was for me as a human and as a musician.  I can’t stress enough how this wasn’t a part of the original plan, but MAKING the space for it was essential to the overall weight of the experience.  While we didn’t have a gig that day, we made a most excellent and valuable re-connection.  We are all busy building our dreams and it is NOT easy.   It is SO easy to lose track of the limited amount of time that we have on this tiny little blue ball as well as the original motivation for our goals.  This is why I believe it is essential to allow time for the people in your life that bring meaning and experiences that broaden your scope of understanding of what it means to be a human being.  I believe we need to give ourselves time to reconnect, reflect and sometimes even redirect if that is what is needed to continue with grace.

We still have a week left on the road and I already consider this one of the highlights of the tour.  I am excited to grow my partnership with Ryan and the rest of our band.  I am stoked to see what the future has in store for us as a musical team.



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