Tuesday, July 27, 2021

What are the chances? Pretty good, actually. So "let's hear it for love!"

What are the chances that the first song I heard performed by a full band on a big stage with big ol' amplifiers after a year and half would be captured by a friend of said band and posted to said band's YouTube page, and feature me at the moment that my mind is being once again blown by the incredibly emotional realization that music could still make my body and soul sing in ways I had truly forgotten?

Pretty good! See?

I have made efforts multiple times to go to shows over the past few weeks and stayed at home at the last moment every single time. So Sunday I decided that maybe if I posted something publicly about trying to attend a show, it might help hold me accountable and get me out the door for once.

And it worked! Well, not so much the accountable thing and more the lovely responses from friends helped me realize leaving the house was worth it.

So I went to Wicker Park Fest to see Smoking Popes, and as I walked in they launched into "Let's Hear It For Love." I staked out a spot outside the venue I booked 20 years ago—close enough to the stage to see the band but far enough away I wouldn't be blocking anyone's view. I think I welled up near the end of the song, but after that first wave passed and I composed myself then ... the tears really started flowing.

I have a lot more I could say about the experience and it's lasting and positive mental effects, but for now let me simply share that it will take a while to ramp back up to whatever "normal" socializing looks like, but these first steps feel wonderful.

Friday, July 23, 2021

Well, well, well...

How's everyone doing? Everyone's life back to normal yet? Everyone feeling good? Back into a regular schedule and seeing all your friends?

Yeah, me neither.

As part of an attempt to "get back to normal" I've been listening to a lot of shuffle on the tankPHONE to reconnect with acts I once felt passionate about as a method to rediscovering some of that emotional brain space that's taken a bit of a beating over the past couple of years.

I think it works maybe 15% of the time, but each time that connection reignites and blossoms into a pleasurable flame in the center of my brain and spreads throughout my body it makes the effort totally worth it.

And it's happening more often. I've even been able to start enjoying some artists again that just held too much emotional baggage for me to listen to over the last couple of years.

And I'm doing other things. But for now I just wanted to let you know it's still absolutely O.K. to not be O.K. We've all been through one ringer or another—and I'd say the majority of the rational population is suffering from a pretty massive shared trauma—so don't push yourself if it doesn't feel right.

It's going to take a looooooooong time to figure out what the actual new normal is, and there is nothing wrong with you for realizing that and taking it slow.

Also, in a time where many of us might feel largely forgotten, or think no one cares or remembers us, know that I am thinking of you. You are not forgotten. And we'll get through this. Patience, my friend. Patience.