Hello from my kitchen table, at the beginning of what they call a heat wave here in the PNW. (It’s going to get all the way up to 85 degrees! “Heat wave”! Adorable. 😂)
Later today, we’ll perform the last show of the first month of our Virtual House Concert Tour, and I wanted to write today and tell you what an absolutely wonderful experience it’s been.
We have 25 Virtual House Concerts under our belt as of this afternoon. Every show has been performed by me and Jamie from our basement here in Tacoma, Washington, and beamed out over Zoom to our host and their guests each night.
We’ve had people Zooming in from … Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Texas, Vermont, Washington, Washington DC, and Wisconsin, as well as from Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Panama, Poland, Spain, and The Netherlands. WOW!
And because everyone is on camera during the concert, we get to actually see and be with each other for the duration of the event. And it is SO GREAT TO BE WITH PEOPLE right now. Can I get an “amen?!”
Don’t get me wrong: I have loved the moments of solitude that this time of self-isolation has offered me, I am grateful for a comfortable home in which to spend this time, and I love spending my days with my partner-in-crime and best friend Jamie, of course.
But I also recognize a need deep within my soul to connect. With humans. And doing so in this extraordinary time comes with an extra layer of challenges. Every single night of our tour has confirmed for me that humans are incredible — we know we need each other, and we find a way to make the connections we need, even when we can’t be together in the same room.
My heart has been filled up every night with the experience of sharing energy, music, stories, joys, pains, struggles, and triumphs with the people who have shown up. Humans find a way. We are amazing.
Every night we have a post-concert group discussion time for people who want to stick around for it. There has been a common experience I’ve been hearing pop up lately as people share how they’re doing in this time. It has to do with how folks are grappling with the unbounded nature of the pandemic — the idea that no one knows how or when this will end, and that none of us knows what the world will look and feel like when it does end.
And … whew … yeah. Me, too.
As I sit with this (uncomfortable) thought, there are a couple of things I’m drawing from it.
One … I’m reminded (again) that the future is always unknowable, even in times that felt as though they were more predictable than this one we’re living in now.
Two … I’m reminded of the notion that — for me, given the particular quirks of my internal composition — my attempts to predict the future are almost always about me making futile attempts at controlling it. Or at least feeling like I have enough of an inside-track knowledge about it that I can brace myself to control how much pain or discomfort it might bring me. Which — given the nature of its unknowableness — is such a huge waste of my energy.
Three … I’m reminded that now, as always, that what is real exists only in the present moment. The past is an illusion stored in the fallible memory schemes of our brains; and the future is unwritten. All. That. Is. Real. Is. Now.
And so … I’m working, every day,
to live as much in Nowness as I can.
To let it be as full as it is.
To allow myself to experience the fullness of it.
To listen to it.
And to keep listening.
None of us knows where this goes. But we are here, in it. We all have the opportunity to listen to what this time is telling us. And we all get to choose each next right step forward, one at a time, toward the lives we want to live, and toward the world we want to make together, in this time and after it.
Looking up at the clock, it’s now that time of day when I need to get my voice warmed up and ready for tonight’s concert. So I’ll sign off for now, with a kiss blown your direction and a promise to talk to you again soon.
Love and nowness — shannon