,TEXAS! Everyone must go to Texas.
And if you are lucky, go there many times.
The people, the food, the landscape, the music, are all bucket-to-the-brim soul filling goodness.
In May, I went for my first time. I was fortunate enough to be a finalist in the Kerrville NewFolk Songwriting competition, and it was lovely.
Actually, it was sweaty. I've never experienced anything quite like it. Its a legendary Music festival on the prettiest Hillside an hour outside of San Antonio in Kerrville, Texas. It was hot and muggy, and impossible to be anything but authentic. Makeup will not stay on your face. Deodorant, will not stay in your pits. You are bare and exposed and to me it was cathartic and quite possibly the most vulnerable I've ever felt, but also I felt loved and accepted. One of the previous years winners of the competition, helped me get my tent situated, and also climbed underneath it the next morning to clear away what I told him had to be baseball sized rocks. (Im not good at sleeping on the ground, there were no rocks..., he was nice about it) One of the most famous and prolific songwriters in the camp sang to me in the outdoor shower. (we were both naked as one usually is in the shower, it could have been weird, but it wasn't. it was beautiful) I had a wonderful time. I did not win, but felt like the experience itself was a prize I will treasure forever. I made many new friends and heard the best songs ever. It was the first of many awakenings I've had this year.
While flying home, I met Kathy, another lone traveler, flying to Vegas for the weekend. We chatted all about her life, the places she'd lived all over the world, she shared some awesome ideas for kid's birthday parties, and we just had a fun conversation about who we are and where we come from. She told me that it is common for her to travel alone, and to not make real plans, she likes to see what the universe has in store or her, she just has to be willing to show up. She didn't even know how she was going to get to her hotel, so I offered her a ride. After I dropped her off at her hotel, I felt grateful the Universe opened us up to each other. Her Example of not knowing whats in store, but JUST SHOWING UP! was so inspiring to me. so I wrote her a song. It will be on my next album.
This summer, I read GOING SOLO by Roald Dahl. and I recommend it to everyone. Its a non-fiction, all about Roald's experiences traveling to Africa, and as a squadron pilot for the Royal Air Force. It is full of wild adventures, and I found it so incredible that he lived through all he did, and then was able to write some of the worlds greatest children's stories and touch the lives of millions of people. He's the coolest. The things he did were nuts.
like, learning how to fly a plane in 6 hours, then thinking, ya, I know enough I can fly in combat now... and going from a Tiger Moth double cockpit to flying a single cockpit Hurricane without ever flying solo before. The squadron needed him, and his leader said, "You'll Figure it out" and he did!! The courage that would take blows my mind. Oh ya, then he crashed and was blind for awhile and I mean this guy is a bad-a, hero. After I read the book I wondered, what kind of Faith gets someone through all that. I bet he had extraordinary faith.
Well, it turns out, He died an atheist.
He was raised very religious, but later decided against it. When his young daughter passed away, he sought comfort from his clergyman, and he didn't agree with what "THE BOSS" was telling him. Earlier their family had lost a family pet, Rowley. and while mentioning that Olivia and Rowley could be together in an afterlife, the Priest denied the existence of Doggy Heaven. That was not cool with Roald. It felt all wrong, and he figured if the Priest was wrong about that, then he must be wrong about all of it, everything.
I don't know lots and lots of things. especially when it comes to religion. but
This got me thinking, do you have to know everything about a thing, to believe in a thing? kind of like knowing enough about a plane, to get it off the ground...maybe just believing that you'll eventually figure it out is enough...to be honest, I feel this way all the time, I don't know how to have a successful music career, but its happening to a degree, and I believe it is possible to continue to get better and better. I don't know how to raise other humans to be successful, emotionally stable, kind, loving, fulfilled, believers, but I think its possible, probably. Mostly winging' it here... but I know that its going to take a Believer, to make believers.
I truly believe in a higher power. I believe we each have a higher purpose, and we come to know that purpose by turning ourselves closer to that power. closer to God. Even if God is just that connectedness we have with each other. I believe in Jesus. and I am going to strive to recognize his grace in my life. I am so glad I had the chance to travel this year, by myself. I went solo. but felt myself grow closer to others, and I felt myself tell the Universe/God, I don't know whats in store for me, but I am willing to be brave enough to step out of my comfort zone, and find out!
This is the chorus to my song Kathy's Trip to Vegas.
"She's Faithful, Fearless.
Open to all the good there is to know.
She's Faithful, Fearless. She knows she's gonna get where she needs to go.
by being Faithful."