The venue lights dim, and she takes her place with the band as they make their way onto the stage amid cat calls, chatter, and anticipation.
What a daunting task, to create something that will be enjoyed by so many different people at one time, without knowing anything about them. The weight of expectation never fully leaves her, though she has always been comfortable in front of a microphone. The pressure is a necessary part of her art, one that she embraces with a sort of reckless abandon.
The band’s music quickly suffocates the anxious chatter in the room, and her voice quickly captivates the room. Together, they play a magical sound with their banjos, violens, guitars, and keys. Mainstream has never really been their thing, and the audience is in love.
But there’s something different about the way that she plays.
If you watch closely, you can see the nuances of her performance; the way that she closes her eyes as the music steals the stage, her heart so precariously resting on her sleeve in front of five, or a hundred, or thousands of people. Watch to see how she plays notes, sure; but also to see how she succinctly strings together emotions. The music her hands create is less a testament to her skill, and more of a vindication of her spirit. Lots of people can play music, very few can create it.
She is in the craft of creating music.
Her eyes closed, she is hearing something different from you and I. We hear a song comprised of words and sounds, but she is listening to a moment. Listening for the joining of souls on the platform of an idea, or the shared table of an experience. She hears more than chords, rhythms, harmonies, and sounds; she hears how those things join a larger symphony, hope joining with banjos and guitars, creating something that is somehow alive.
This is what she had anticipated. And it is good.
A smile forms across her face, as she opens her eyes to scan the audience. She’s looking for validation of what she is feeling; wanting to know that her offering tonight is not in vain, that someone is connecting in a way deeper than foot-stomping or head-nodding. She’s looking into eyes to find that someone gets it.
I wonder, perhaps a bit romantically, if this is what it’s like to be God.