Today I got up and did things I haven’t in weeks. I bought groceries. Worked in the garden. Cooked dinner. Organized my glass studio.
It’s life as I know it, usually. The tour is over. Yesterday TMDR and I drove back from Aspen to Denver. I felt lightheaded after my massage at the Aspen Club, so I sat in the passenger seat for the first shift, my shoulders, back and neck glittering (the best explanation I have for the feeling) as we drove back down through the snow-dusted mountains. As we approached Denver the world flattened out into the plains, and I groaned, remembering the days spent on flat roads through flat lands as we had crossed Indiana, Iowa and Nebraska. Before I knew it we had left our trusty Dodge Magnum at the rental place, having put over 4,000 miles on the odometer, and I was saying my goodbyes as I went north back to Oregon, and TMDR went due west back to California.
In the car, TMDR had a conversation on his phone as we neared the end of the tour, saying how his crew was starting to all wonder about the experience, all the time and miles and sweat…what did it all mean?
Like everyone, I had my favorite songs in the shows. “Windpower” is one I really enjoyed hearing (most of the time I was not able to watch the show, the merch table being located down a hall, behind a wall, in a lobby, or, in the affectionate case of the Key Club, in “the pit.” But I could always hear the shows, and when I finally saw the accompanying video for “Windpower” I was hooked. I have been a huge fan of the aesthetics of windfarms and turbines for years, seeing Brian’s video and Johnny’s masterful creations with it, combining with the music put a smile on my face as I sat alone with the t-shirts and posters while everyone else was watching the show.
But my absolute favorite is the beginning of “Flying North.” The swooping chords over the opening lines, growing richer. I tried to convey to Thomas how much these few moments of music touched me every time, in my fumbling, non-technical way somewhere near Ohio, I think. These chords were buried in the studio version of the song, but I never heard them until he played “Flying North” live. On the last evening in Aspen, as those opening notes went by, my image of Thomas wavered as my eyes filled with tears, knowing it was the last time.
“You get to go to all the shows? Travel? You are SO lucky! It must be SO much fun.”
My answer to that one has been a big smile, and silence. Because it HAS been so much fun, but it has also been SO much work, for all of us who supported him on the road, and TMDR himself. There are times I was so tired, so very tired, and my computer was gone with a dead hard drive and I had forgotten some piece of information, or the hotel reservations were missing, or no one brought towels or water to the dressing room, or the GPS wouldn’t let us find a freaking restaurant and it was late at night…
Even with all that, as I sit at my own dining room table and I know what day it is, (Friday!) and the actual date (the 26th!) at the same time, something I haven’t been able to do for weeks now, I don’t ask myself what it all means. I know.
When I remember the few times I felt stressed, or just exhausted and wished I’d just stayed home in my own bed with my cats, and the infinite number of amazing, happy, elated memories that made me not want to trade my job for anything else in the world, I also remember those opening chords that I love and I know what it all meant…to support him…help him fly north.
It’s been a wonderful experience to talk to everyone I have met on the road. Thomas has some of the most intense, and delightful fans I have ever met. So many interesting stories to share, and ways to express how much his music has touched them. It has been a honor to serve you directly and indirectly, and I thank all of you for your kindness and willingness to share your stories with me. And the rest of the crew, they leave me speechless with their talent, drive, and never-wavering willingness to help me, as I hope I helped them.
And now I am off to sit with my cats, create some jewelry designs, and listen to the Oregon rain. I’ll see you all on the online forum! =)