Saturday….I arrived in Dallas and had a lovely Thai lunch with my host and friend, Joseph….then whisked over to the Center for Spiritual Living where I did a sound check and met many of the folks at the center.
David Howard, with his beautiful, throaty voice, opened the evening with spirit-based songs of hope and love. J Kendel, his partner, played piano beautifully, and an old, old friend of mine, Steve Brown, from “Equal Scary People” days in Denton, played electric/acoustic guitar. David ‘s songs were from his new album, “Spark”…for which Lance and I designed the packaging! The final song in David’s set was his upbeat, rocked out version of my song, “Comfort’s Sigh”, and he brought up Lucy (I wrote about meeting her at the International Women’s Peace Conference…she is amazing…you can search for her here in the blog entries and read about her trials and tribulations and how she has overcome them…since that entry, she has become a legal citizen!) and about 24 African refugees of all ages…toddlers to grandparents and in between….and, so, as I stood up in the balcony watching this amazing moment unfold, I had tears of happiness as my song was sung in English and Swahili…
After break, and drying of my eyes and many hugs, I hit the stage, high as a kite on clouds of jubilation! I could really “feel” this stage, this room, the people in the room….meaning, the connections were so vivid, so present….some rooms I perform in, I am searching for the energy because of distractions (mine/the audiences)….Zoom! On this stage, the energy and love were all around and in me and jumping for joy on my shoulders, tiny little Bob Barker waves of, “Come on down!” I think I gave a ten minute comedic monologue, I was feeling so happy! I sang and smiled and caressed and banged on my guitar, and led the listeners to a description of the “Music for Life” tour, breaking into Tricia Mitchell/Monte Warden’s “Twenty Years to Life”, followed by “The One.”
When I sing “The One”, there is a silence that follows, that sort of sacred space that occurs after songs of truth, songs of pain. Only this time, as the silence was gelling, I had asked Lucy to have the choir start singing while seated, and then to come up the aisles to the stage, and that is exactly what happened. The silence was guided by the hand of morning, sunshine spilling into the darkness, the choir singing about the face of God, clapping hands and letting out an occassional, high pitched shrill among the den of voices. On stage, Lucy presented me with an African wrap she had sewn for me, complete with lovely beading on one shoulder, and I opened my arms wide as she tied the cloth of brown and purple hearts across my chest and over my body. Then we sang “Romania”, with everyone in the audience standing to pray on behalf of the different countries we sing about, and went right into “Later Than You Think”, and WOW!!! Was that rousing? Yes! Was it hopeful? Yes! Was it beyond fantastic and fun and full of zip-zowwie-whoo-man-awesomeness??? YES! I was smiling so much I couldn’t sing on pitch! I was wobbly with glee! Everywhere I looked, people were on their feet, clapping and dancing and swaying and singing and smiling….I started bouncing and singing with two teenage girl African girls, and I swear, we were laughing so hard….! Thank God my guitar can play itself!!! Then we got a crazy great encore, so Lucy shouts out to me, “We are each others’ angels! We must sing the angels’ song!” So we burst into that, the friends from Africa raising their arms and voices like wings to lift us all into further feelings of peace and contentment. This was taped, so Chuck Brodsky, I will send you a copy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How cool is this, to have both sides of the Atlantic ocean singing together, black and white, English and Swahili, men and women, parents and children, gay and straight, single and married…..all in one place singing out that we are angels for one another? Rock on, my good man. Cuz we were rockin’ hard, my friend!!!
Thank you to Kim Corbet for coming out and being my moonbeam. For holding me up and sharing your great, quiet and ebullient (did I spell that right?) spirit.
You’re really the leader of our wolf pack, Kim…the one that starts the howl. Stevo and Larry are the wildebeasts, Amy is the jaguar, Chuck E. is the elm tree,
Andy is the bowl of m&ms, I’m the giggle in the pocket, and George is the Guitar Hero. John McKay would be the Silent Film Era. Brad is our RV with a slideout.
Who am I forgetting….yikes.
Afterwards, Joseph and I drove up to a Sonic for cherry limeades. He was hilarious cuz he had never been to a Sonic, his window won’t go down, so he gets out of the car and talks into the speaker to order drinks (and fries!), and I can see the guy inside the Sonic watching Joseph like he’s lost his mind. You had to be there, but you get the idea….We went back to Joseph’s and laughed over “Saturday NIght Live”, slurping on my limeade , Joseph on his root beer float, and we were like two kids staying up late after the school musical…Just goofy with happiness, ready to bust a gut over anything comical.
Next morning: Got to the church by 8:30 for soundcheck, and performed at two services (9 & 11) and met even MORE fantastic people and felt even MORE of God’s great love and wow. If you are looking for a place to feel loved, I would highly suggest Center for Spiritual Living in Dallas, TX. Even if just for a visit. And make sure you meet Veronica and Jackie. Not only are the great, walking smiles, but they can boogie-oogie-oogie and will fill your heart with fun. They are my new dear friends that I must have known all my life but just got to really know.
Lastly, thank you to Steffeni and her mom, Terry, for coming out and surprising me. I love you both.