Updated: May 12, 2021
In July 2014, I hopped in my car and drove north to the St Augustine Amphitheater to see my favorite musical artist, Sara Bareilles, perform during her Little Black Dress tour. The experience was surreal, leaving me in tears during songs I had previously only heard through my speakers or headphones. There is something about a live performance that cannot be encapsulated by any one emotion. The instant you attempt to grasp what it is that moves and affects you, it slips away, only to be replaced by a more powerful wave of something intangible.
I’ve been waiting nearly six years for the opportunity to immerse myself in that aura again. As I’ve shared before, Sara’s Amidst the Chaos album and tour was announced after I began writing my current novel, Splendid Chaos. Everything about Sara’s music: her soulful voice, poetic lyrics, and genuine personality inspire the words I write. It felt like a moment of true serendipity to arrive at a mutual appreciation for navigating chaos around the same time as her.
Each piece of paper in the metaphorical tornado onstage contained a story. The way each of those stories fit together, amidst the chaos, felt splendid indeed. I didn’t cry during this particular performance, but I smiled. I smiled wide, inside and out. It’s a testament to the power of music and a shared story. How it can inspire and connect, both ourselves and others, makes me eager with anticipation for that next opportunity to create and share in that same experience. Again and again.
It reminds me of Sara’s opening lyrics from her concert. From the song Orpheus: Don’t stop trying to find me amidst the chaos. Whatever it is you long to find and experience, keep going.
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