I’m on the bus heading to our second show as the opening act on the summer Kenny Loggins tour and I have had a migraine headache for the last two days. About ten years ago, I remember having a migraine attack and having to perform that night. At soundcheck, I noticed the speakers and monitors were extra loud and the stage lights were uber-bright and shining into my eyes. I was terrified. I didn’t know how I was going to get through that show. I took a migraine pill and when I made it through, I realized that that pill plus all that good energy from a wonderfully receptive audience was somehow enough to relieve the pain. That made me stronger than ever.
Compared to what other people go through in life, that’s nothing. One of the best parts of going on tour is meeting the people in the audience after the show. When you shake a stranger’s hand, you have no idea what kind of things that person is dealing with in his or her life. Just last night, a young woman reached out to shake my hand at the merch table and said “I had to bury my dad today. We came tonight ‘cause we already had tickets and your song ‘Little Victories’… it really helped.” Amazing. We’re not doctors. We’re not changing the world. Except music has the uncanny ability to do just that in the most magical of ways. When used for the good, it can help someone escape the pain for just a little while. What an honor to be able to be of service like that.
I’m always amazed at how strong and resilient people really are. I read a book once written by a psychologist (I believe it was M. Scott Peck who said – and I paraphrase): “When a new client knocks on my door, I don’t see that person as someone who is messed up and beyond help… I see a person who has simply lost their sense of imagination for a moment. They’re in a rut, is all.”
I forget that sometimes.
Someone came up to me at last night’s show and said, “Thanks for a great show. It’s been a really bad year.” I gave her a high five and said, “Well, here’s to a great new year then.” She smiled at me and said, “Actually, here’s to breathing.”
I couldn’t have said it better myself.