The other night I played a solo show. I hadn't done a solo show in a long time, and so I decided to venture far beyond just "solo". I literally had a practice run of unfinished songs with an audience staring directly at me.
Call me unprepared, lazy or even unprofessional, but I actually did do this on purpose. The show was to raise money for suicide prevention and, given that I had just heard of a suicide close to the family, I decided it was a good show to practice getting outside of the box. I thought about what suicide really is and what it takes to get there. Is it loneliness, lack of worth, despair? All of the above and a slew of other challenges? Maybe, but whatever it is, I think more real connectedness is a good place to start to help and heal, for those who are strugglig. I thought I should play a show that forced me to be vulnerable. Unpolished, and totally ok with just talking to the crowd like we were sitting in my living room and I wanted to share some tunes. Hoping someday my good friends could learn them and we could sing them together. I'm glad I did it this way. I want to do this all the time. How?
I don't know. But I want to connect more. Not through social media, necessarily. In fact the more I research this social media connectivity, the more I realize it is too impaired, too fanciful, too impersonal and too removed from physical proximity to actually achieve what it promises for the majority of the time we are using it. Yes, we can encourge each other, message each other blessings, etc. But is that what we spend most of our time doing while scrolling through Instagram or Facebook or Snapchat?
Serioiusly, read this and then logout. I mean it. Call a friend, make a coffee date with someone you havent seen in a while. Volunteer at a soup kitchen. Take some muffins to your neighbors.
Or go play with your band, like the very off the cuff video posted here. This is just a generally random moment during band practice, but this is what we do. We get together and play songs we write and songs we just like. We talk, we create, we engage. We fail to make up words when we've forgotten Dolly Parton's perfect lyrics. And it's good and real and sometimes exactly what we need.
Engage. Connect. This is the perfect weekend to do something out of your box!