This is a fingers flying, don’t think too hard kind of post – the kind that usually comes out lightning quick in the Notes app on my phone, or more inconveniently – when I’m in the shower and need to preserve the words. It’s ok, though, because hearts and thoughts can preserve easily. They’re like the canning champions of your life – they don’t necessarily rot or evaporate – but rather remain firm, rich, and luscious for as long as you need them to be preserved that way.
The thing is, sometimes your dreams come true through blood and sweat and tears (and rising nausea) and sometimes they come true in an instant. Like before you even have time and space to process that they were, in fact, your dreams. And that they did, in fact, come true in an instant. Maybe it’s something that was a back of the mind dream but you never really thought it would come true. Maybe you never tried to make it come true, because you were ok living life without that dream. Or maybe you thought that if it did come true – it wouldn’t feel right. Maybe it would disappoint. Maybe it would do the opposite of disappoint you, but still leave you confused, and maybe a little gassy. Not like.. literally gassy.. but more like full of endless helium.
And as fun as that sounds, and would be, it’s dangerous too. You could get tangled in telephone wire and maybe with bird claws. You could get vertigo or sensory overload. And maybe you never learned to fly, anyway. We’re all just winging it. Flapping and dipping and soaring – and hoping something sticks. Maybe it’s when you try too hard, yes, and maybe it’s when you catch the right breeze and learn to lean in at the right time. Steady, now, easy does it. You’ve got this.
- What if I hadn’t booked three Bruce Hornsby tickets last minute and instead had arrived alone (probably paying for overpriced parking), had watched the show alone, and had gone home alone – rather than as a family of four?
What if we hadn’t gotten that parking spot after several minutes of looking for parking spots, with Cassidy even saying, “Where is my parking mojo tonight?” Then we got a spot, and you know what? The mojo was there. What if it hadn’t been?
What if we hadn’t found that delicious restaurant (I’m still thinking about it) right before the show, and hadn’t eaten our weight in chicken sandwiches, burgers, fries, and burrata? We would have had to find dinner – during the show or after. It would have been different.
What if Des hadn’t fallen asleep during yMusic’s performance, and part of Bruce Hornsby’s amazing performance?
And what if Scarlet hadn’t written him that note and put it on the stage, and he hadn’t brought it to the piano with him, hadn’t read some of it aloud, and hadn’t played the most exquisite version of her song request? “Shadowhand.” I urge you to listen.
- What if Des hadn’t woken up to go home, and what if he hadn’t had to go to the bathroom so badly that it had to be before we got in the car?
And what if Scarlet had had to go to the bathroom badly enough to brave the bathroom lines, rather than just give up, walk by yMusic, and smile broadly at these superstars?
What if we hadn’t walked out hand-in-hand, and hadn’t then looked up to see glittering snow and a puppy dog perched on a windowsill looking down at us?
And what if Cassidy and Des hadn’t come out from the bathroom right then, and hadn’t found us where we were standing RIGHT THEN – charmed and transfixed by glittering snow and windowsill puppies?
What if we hadn’t walked to the car at that exact time – in the exact side street we had parked it on earlier – and what if Cassidy hadn’t recognized the quiet man loading a backpack into his car, and barely detectable. What if he hadn’t turned at Cassidy’s voice and what if Cassidy hadn’t said, with Scarlet in his arms, “This is Scarlet. Thank you for playing her Shadowhand request.” It was.. Bruce Hornsby. Realization spread through me.
What if I hadn’t met Bruce Hornsby? I still would have been so satisfied for attending his concert with things I was battling against. I would have been beyond satisfied to have heard so many of his greats from the third row. And I would have been way beyond satisfied to have heard him READ MY DAUGHTER’S WORDS into a microphone. Instead, what if your dreams come true? What if instead of all the hadn’ts, you heard him say to your daughter, “Shadowhand is one of my favorite songs too”? What if he turned then to look at you and you noticed he had kind eyes. What if he smiled at you? And what if he reached for you? So, what if you said, “I’ve always wanted to meet you and Tim Curry (dork). And here we are. Thank you for the best over 30 years of music listening. Ever. I needed them through every step”?
What if it hadn’t gone down that way – with that parking spot and that bathroom break and that glittering snow and that puppy dog in the window? It would have been a different kind of night, but probably magical in its own way. And today, I celebrate a much longer story that I will tell in much shorter words, because you know what? It pretty much writes itself daily.
I called it, “Hello” and it was about writer’s block and my fierce desire to marry photos and words – and silence the rising voices in my head – at least 3-5 times a week. It was also a wonderful outlet to write about my 10-month-old and my feelings and fears of motherhood. She has grown with this blog, and this blog has grown with her, and goshdarnit – I’m the one growing too.
What if I had never started the blog, made the friendships, co-authored books, gone to blogging conferences, traveled for blogging, made this into a fulltime job, posted the photos, and written the words? The reason I equate the two – meeting Bruce Hornsby and starting a blog – is because even though they’re nothing alike, they’re everything alike. Two dreams I wasn’t seeking and while one only lasted an instant, the other one changed the course of my life and will continue to do so. No matter what happens next, or in the near and distant futures, we’ll always have this, won’t we? I think you’ll always find me here, and I hope to find you.