Last night I sat on a little red chair and sang for around 30 people. Some were sitting real close … their closeness was almost air to me.
I was singing some new songs, really new and raw, so I wanted as much closeness as I could have.
But probably only two or three in the audience were really that close to me, I mean really listening. A few were texting. Some were shifting in their chairs. Others kept leaving theirs to get more drinks.
The temptation was to huddle over my chords, tune in on an inner transmission, and tune out the surrounding clamor. I wanted to hunch over and protect the songs, their ability to freely roam unmarked territories. I have learned how to be there, singing them, and six thousand miles away at the same time.
But I have also learned something else more precious: If you’re spending your time on stage worrying about the ones who aren’t tuned in, it’s almost impossible to be open and connected with the people who really came to listen.
Nothing like a night of musical chairs to speak of people, coming and going, like little leaps of faith.