I have been pacing around my house, doing not particularly important things - mopping the floor, reorganizing the closets, doing the laundry, watering the plants, and organizing my old files. I don't remember the last time I had this amount of time. Maybe a year ago, maybe two years ago... There is certainly an illusion that time seems to be going more slowly when you finally stop running from place to place driving hundreds and thousands of miles in-between.
I finally came home from the 17 Midwest concert tour a few days ago. The last 5 concerts (mostly in Montana) took place in a real winter wonderland covered in snow averaging -2 to 5 degrees. The unusual brisk air in San Diego (in the low 50 degrees) that many describe as cold feels like a hot summer breeze to me right now.
So what was the tour like? What did I learn? How am I now? What was the experience like? What was your favorite? These questions constantly involuntarily resound in my head, yet I can't find answers, as if my thoughts and experiences were still in the air, taking time to settle down to earth.
There are several things that I am noticing though - one is that I have renewed energy. I thought that once I am back home I would not do anything but sleep for hours and hours. But no. Instead I am pacing around the house, organizing, working out, exploring new repertoire, playing my current program slowly and thoroughly, and thinking about new projects. Maybe something about being in new places and new experiences give you a mental break in life. Maybe this is a heightened level of gratitude for your environment too; your piano, your favorite home meals, your morning routine, and your bed...(oh, how much I missed it!)
Secondly, I still don't have a sense of days. I am sure it will change soon. But for a month there weren't any weekends or Mondays or Wednesdays to me, simply a day when I had a performance or a day when I didn't have a performance. It is interesting to live life without those lines between days. I did not count these concerts either, as if I could be in the space of creating music indefinitely. It was a simpler existence. A day always began with new focus, new audience, new piano, and new adjustment to a different environment. I feel that I went through a life lesson boot camp 101 for how to approach every day with a renewed perspective so that I could apply it even if the daily environment was the same as yesterday. Time will tell how I can reapply this, but I would like to dig deeper into this concept.
Thirdly, I've experienced the beauties of real corners of towns in America only possibly by driving thousands of miles. They had never heard of me and I had never heard of them. Yet it didn't matter. We were connected in the space of music, we felt a sense of real connection. We hugged each other's souls and created beauty in those moments. It was an arduous effort for me to do this tour, yet tremendously rewarding and beautiful at the same time. I vividly remember the faces, tears, and heartfelt comments from everyone in those towns. They were waiting for me even though they didn't realize that they were waiting for me. Maybe I made a small difference.
Indeed I am transformed, probably much more than I could ever describe in words. I am certain that this experience has made me stronger, given me fuel for life. I wish that life could be easier. Maybe I could have learned all this without going through this rigorous tour over 40 days. Yet I know... I know that I earned learning it only because I went through every step.
What are some experiences in your life that were difficult at the time, but gave you fuel?