Today, it’s as if a massive weight has been lifted my shoulders. I sit here writing this with my heart filled with peace, love and a sense of victory.
Last night, in front of 95 friends, I performed the contents of my new album in its entirety from beginning to end.
I then followed it up with a set of cover songs that have been instrumental in my recovery from the deaths of my husband and my father and the resulting PTSD and anxiety.
This also marks the first time in almost seven years that I have performed as a solo act. I haven’t been on a stage beyond with the Hamilton Gay Men’s Chorus since the last house concert I did in Durham, North Carolina that long ago.
This is big for me and I doubt I could have managed this last year or even two years ago.
The evening was painful for me both physically (my hands are trashed from playing the guitar for two and a half hours straight) and emotionally.
See two of the songs of table for one. were written using quotes from Larry’s journals as he processed his illness and impending death. I literally sang my deceased husband’s words in celebration of his life and his acceptance of his passing in front of our friends.
I left my heart on that stage, in addition to the pool of sweat and tears (as seen here, compliments of Paul Hawkins).
Yup, that’s an ugly cry indeed, in front of people, while singing.
And I wouldn’t have it any other way – because it’s real and what I was feeling. Seven years ago, I would have been embarrassed to do this in front of anybody, let alone an audience of people who paid twenty dollars each to see me.
But it’s done, people were happy and I am satisfied. Songs that I was unsure of, I know work well and were received well. Other songs fell flat and need tweaking before they get recorded. But I’m going to take some time away from the material – about a week or so – and then revisit it with fresh eyes and fingers in slightly better shape.
But it was a great evening – I now feel this chapter in my life has concluded – recording the project and releasing it will be a great postlude to the period of recovery and rebirth.
Iain Bennett said it most succinctly to me last night when he whispered in my ear “Welcome back.”
I am back indeed. It feels good to be here. It feels good to be me. I feel good. I feel reborn.
Welcome back Myke, it’s been a while! What took you so fucking long?