Last summer, it was all about the music.
In kid world, it was all about Hamilton. My son, in particular, was obsessed with the soundtrack and we had to play “You’ll Be Back” on repeat. And by “had to” I mean that I was loving the fact that my kids were getting into musical theatre. Now, it’s all about Dear Evan Hansen, obvi, but we’ve been known to break into spontaneous Hamilton or Les Mis sing-alongs quite frequently. This is my joy.
In my world, I was singing, playing, writing, performing, recording…I was an active musician.
And then, things changed.
And no, I will not elaborate.
But after this Fall, music changed for me.
It was hard for me to listen to certain songs. It was hard for me to write. I stopped playing out. I didn’t perform anymore.
I lost my voice.
La La Land came out and I saw it with my parents on Christmas Day. I started to sing along to the soundtrack as I drove through dark winter streets, only lit by the bright snowflakes on the lampposts lining our roads.
I would sing the “Audition Song” and cry my way through the chorus.
Here’s to the ones who dream, foolish as they may seem.
I feel you, Mia.
Seasons changed, life changed, the world got lighter.
Some songs were still too hard to hear, so I deleted them. I replaced them with new songs. I found strength.
I booked a gig. But, as it often does, life got in the way. My show was booked for the day after my Mother-in-law’s funeral, and so I had to cancel. Fortunately, the very kind coordinator booked me for a show the next month, which just so happened to be one of the biggest shows ever. Last weekend, we opened for Dar Williams in the Bryn Mawr Twilight Concert Series, and it was my most fun concert ever. Who is this we of which I speak? Since I don’t name names on here, I will just say that it is my OG musical partner. The person with whom I’ve always harmonized with the greatest facility; the guy who has had my back through thick and thin (and beyond); one of the most talented humans I know; this guy. He and I only practiced a few times before getting up on stage, and instead of asking him incessantly if my lips were purple I asked him if my hair was frizzy (we narrowly avoided being rained out!) and then we took the stage, sang our hearts out, each song in harmony, and we had the best time.
There was an ease to our dynamic. We were there to have fun and to provide joy.
I think that there is a certain high that comes from being on stage, only heightened when Dar Williams herself tells you how beautiful you sound after she hears your sound check. She was so complimentary, and I melted into a puddle of gratitude.
My return to the stage was meaningful in many ways. I was reminded, once again, of the power of stellar friendship.
I stood up in a place that I had stood before, but in a very different place in my life, and it was not haunted, but rather it was home-like.
I was true to myself, as when I had said, “You’ll Be Back”, I meant it. I kept my promise.
If you care to hear a few clips from the show, you can check out the following from my Insta page:
“Poison and Wine” by The Civil Wars
“Need You Now” by Lady Antebellum
“Blank Space/Style” mashup by Taylor Swift (arranged by Louisa Wendorff)
“Angel From Montgomery” by John Prine
Did I mention that it was so much fun?
Later that night we toasted over beers and mozzarella sticks and then last night over fancy wine and a seafood tower,
but most importantly, this was a beautiful testament to how much 15 minutes can mean.
This summer, it’s all about the music.
In kid world, I am learning new songs each day from my little ones. We play these tunes as we wait for the camp bus each morning, and my daughter looks at me and groans, “MOM!” when my dancing gets a little too crazy. She is worried about what the neighbors will think.
I’ve been exposed to new music from the adult world, as well, and there are some pretty cool new, original mash-ups in the works. We have even talked about recording a bit.
And I sang, again. In front of an audience. And it was wonderful.
She captured a feeling
Sky with no ceiling
The sunset inside a frame…
Here’s to the ones who dream…
And the ones who kept saying, “You’ll Be Back”.
You were right.
I love you.