I may be learning
that what I thought was intuition
is largely based on fear.
As I travel, I am faced hourly with decisions I would normally consider big.
When at home, I consider each near and far trip, each half-mile and ten mile venture:
will I walk, bike, drive, use public transportation, or not even go?
I spend a great deal of time at home strategizing about decisions.
On the road, I am facing not half-miles as often, but miles, hundreds of them.
These take lots of time. These cost money and environmental pollution.
If I deliberate long, I miss opportunities. Options dwindle.
Do I back track to Wisconsin? to Michigan? to Ohio?
Do I visit this friend? grandmother? city? town?
Do I keep on my tour route on schedule even when I have nothing lined up in a city?
Should I try this open mic? slam? punk rock show?
Will it be better if I feature? compete? do neither?
When I travel a few hundred miles and all goes well, I am encouraged, overjoyed, grateful.
When I travel a few hundred miles and the show is cancelled, or no one purchases my book or donates to my road support, I question what happened?
What can I do to prevent this next time? What can I do better?
Sometimes there is nothing better to do.
Sometimes I must only accept provision or the lack thereof.
Bounty or expense.
Sometimes I am offered a bed, a couch, a floor, or I offer myself the bed of my truck.
I am grateful the truck is functioning well. All’s running well. I got into a minor accident this week and thus was extremely late for a gig. I am reminded to slow down, live honest, accept the present, and not worry or try to control the future or the unknown.
Peace is a gift. It is ready to be received, accepted, held, embraced.
Worry, discontent, frustration, anger, fear, and pain are always also ready to be picked up, held, grasped, and meshed into the very fiber of our beings. I do this until I remember that I don’t have to. That it is my choice.
Big decisions about my location, transportation, financial risk, and relational interactions are challenges for me every day; touring comes with all of those decisions. Touring solo means I face them mostly alone. This makes it difficult to pack up and leave each and every city, going homeless again. Many days I want to be home. Sometimes this translates to wanting to visit family in their homes. Sometimes this translates to wanting to go back to one of the places I have called home. Sometimes this manifests in the desire to stake a claim in a new city as home.
But every day, no matter where I am, home must be inside of me.
I put my theology and my sanity to test every day. I put my values and morals to test every day whether I want or mean to or not. I am no super hero. I am no super human. I am a young man, learning what it means to be a man, learning how it hurts (myself and others) when I choose not to make good decisions, right decisions, sometimes hard decisions. I am sorry.
It is hard to live in such a way so as not to have to apologize to anyone. I want to live so as not to apologize to anyone (because I have nothing to apologize for). I have yet to sustain this. I want to sustain the responsibility, acceptance, humility, and confidence that are required to live this way. This is the only way to live art, to be an artist, whether a rock star or a sidewalk busker.
Thus far, I choose to continue living toward these ideals. I choose to continue the tour. I believe in what I am doing, in these poems, in these connections and relational interactions. I want to continue. But I will need the help of friends in order to do so.
I am thankful for friends who receive my phone calls and messages when my heart breaks, or my windshield breaks, or my wallet, or my mind, or spirit break. I am grateful for friends and family who receive my calls when I am excited and rejoicing in the surprises I get to experience every day of this tour. And I am grateful for friends who open their homes and arms to me when I arrive where they are. These keep me going. These help sustain a season of sharing away from a home place, out on the road, whenever/wherever I decide to go and share next.