Greetings fellow travelers! I am writing from the road, as we wind our way through the gorgeous mountains of Washington and Montana. We have completed the first leg of our journey, playing 3 shows in the Pacific Northwest and venturing into Vancouver for our first show ever in Canada. We spent the night in the foothills of Mt. Rainier, nourishing our souls on good conversation, soft rain and starlight, hot tubs and feline hijinks. We spent a long day of driving yesterday, through Montana and into North Dakota, a spectacular drive filled with rolling green hills, jewel-like rivers, and downright Tolkienesque rock formations in places. Now we head into what feels to me like a desolate part of our country, long stretches of plains, flat and parched, unsheltered by shade, just the sun beating down mile after mile on a soul that yearns to be quenched.
The changing terrain reflects our mood, sometimes desolate, sometimes lush and full of promise. Not unlike this life, or any life lived outside of the safe and known.
Truly, this is a life lived between the cracks. It is so hard to know what to expect, what to plan for. One show will be packed to full capacity, with most patrons buying a fistful of Cds. The next show will have four attendees. Always, we are reminded to surrender all in service to the song.
I am reminded of Cuchulain’s journey through the Plain of Ill Luck. In order to prove his worth as a warrior and thereby win the hand of the beautiful Emer, Cuchulain was set many impossible tasks. One such challenge was to cross the Plain of Ill Luck, a field of spikey glass blades, sure to impale all who crossed. Cuchulain could see no way across, and no way to outsmart this trickery laid before him. But he refused defeat, and before long a mysterious youth appeared, as if summoned by Cuchulain’s determination, and gave to Cuchulain a wheel, which rolled across the grass just ahead, flattening a path for him to cross. He followed this path, step by step, never knowing where it led, but trusting to the path that opened before him, until he came to the dwelling of the warrior-woman Scathach, who became his great teacher.
This is often how I feel, having committed to this life. It feels so utterly right, and yet impossible at the same time. And yet, by taking the steps before us to take, the impossible becomes possible. We don’t need to know all the answers. We just need to see the next step. And take it, of course.
I believe we all have an epic journey to make. As certainty and security are stripped from our society, this becomes more urgently apparent. Many of us have no choice but to undertake an epic journey, for we have been thrust upon one by circumstance. If we must reinvent ourselves, why not reinvent ourselves in harmony with the deepest song of our soul?
In service to the song, I grow more sure-footed with every step. With every step I grow more committed to this life – the good, the bad, and the ugly. This is not a trial run, this is my life, and I will take what it offers me, give it all I am, and trust that it is enough.
What song calls to you, beckoning as a siren from the deeps of your subconscious to step away from your safety zone and live?