Through faults of stone
These human hands
Reach out with
Every face a city
Every heart a song
The cracks that divide
But in the end
We rediscover bedrock
Or the human soul
We never should have
Having spent a few days in Edinburgh and run into several types of great human beings, I’ve found a feeling of kinship in new faces that I hoped for but did not expect. Wormwood played a set of music on the top of Arthur’s Seat. Ben insisted we make the trek up that winding path, and I didn’t argue, but I complained heartily whenever appropriate.
Thankfully, it was worth the effort. Playing for a private audience of tired hikers (fifty people or so) with a bird’s eye view of Edinburgh was magic of the first order. It may have been Wormwood’s most satisfying performance to date.
We connected with a group of Germans travelling for school and several American’s as well. We’ve spent a couple evenings chatting with those wonderful people. They are young and smart and complete strangers except that we share one noteworthy experience at the top of a very small mountain. It’s the kind of connection Ben and I hoped we could make via our music and our honesty.
We also found great conversation with a brother and sister from Australia. We sat in the lounge of our hostel and shared a few stories and tips as we all organized bus/plane tickets on extremely slow internet. When traveling it seems planning is a good portion of daily work. Ben and I have discussed feeling pressure to “make every moment great” when on vacation. That isn’t possible or healthy. Just because we are traveling doesn’t mean living stops. Still have to eat. Still have to plan. Still have to take a shit once and a while. Maybe the key is finding joy in every activity. (Yes, that’s right, I relieved myself in two dozen scattered cafés through Edinburgh! What did you do with your summer?)
We spent some time with a pair of women visiting Edinburgh from London. They saw the cello and viola by our bunks and “demanded” that we play for them. So we got the common room bar to shut off the music for a spell and we played a few rounds. The Londoners told us later that they honestly expected us to make up excuses or dodge the situation. We told them that would undermine the purpose of our trip. We came to share our craft with anyone who cares to listen. We hadn’t really stated that explicitly until our two, new friends initiated, though. Thanks, you two, for helping us realize our project! Also, thank you for encouraging us to try haggis. It is quite tasty.
I wish this post came with a video. We have many to share,but they are rather high quality (as we prefer) so it is painstaking to upload them! As soon as we find public WiFi with sufficient speed, we will begin sharing our joy on the interwebs. Until then, stay in touch and enjoy your own magical, everyday moments.
As we prepare to conclude our Indiegogo campaign, we want to send out our sincerest gratitude for all the generous support we’ve received for our World Unspoken Europe Tour. Your donations mean a great deal to us! They help us financially – sure – but they also tell us that you think our project is worthwhile. That is the ultimate compliment. The countless people that we’ve talked to about travel and culture and music have given us the confidence we need to sally forth with smiles on our faces and music in our hearts.
If we could leave this month, I think we both would hop on the nearest plane. We are so ready to be off! June 15th is the scheduled departure date, though. So we have just over a month to wait. Plenty to do between now and then!
If you were thinking about donating or recommending our page to someone you know, now is the time. There are three days left on the Indiegogo campaign.
Or so it seems to me as I race along running this marathon at a sprinter’s pace with eyes and mind fixed on the finish line.
I find myself running so much these days. Running from place to place, appointment to appointment, even state to state. Always striving for that next thing. That next gig, that next performance, that next paycheck, that next “whatever” that is always there because of a tendency towards insatiable consumption.
What Wormwood embodies for me is a time to slow down. To sit where I am, be who I am with, and see and hear what is immediately in my present. A note begins and is filled with infinite potential. I must listen to it, see it for what it is right now, and follow the story that it wants to tell. As a Suzuki teacher, I can’t help but think of Dr. Suzuki’s words “Tone has a living soul without form.” Never is this more true than in the act of improvisation. The living soul pours through, unfiltered, and it is our job to listen.