“I’m going to miss this magic,” I whispered.
I felt my heart swell. My eyes started to tingle. I looked around and squeezed Steve’s hand. He leaned in. My nose grazed his cheek.
“These are special people, Steve. What a rich season. Right now I wish we weren’t moving to Scotland in September.”
That night we sat in the back of a packed venue tucked away east of Gastown. The crowd was a mosaic of familiar faces, friends from past and present. The room itself was balmy. Yes, I’ll admit I was seven months pregnant but it wasn’t little Isaac keeping me toasty. It was the warmth that floods a space where people gather to celebrate in love.
This is how I remember one of my last Vancouver shows.
You must know that I have a crater-sized soft spot for Vancouver’s local musicians. This is partially because my love story with Steve is inseparable from tiny venues and late nights and buzzing ears. These days I’m feeling painfully nostalgic. I am itching to see a show, trying to forget that Steve will be catching up with a friend in Glasgow on Saturday night, Vancouver Island’s own Aidan Knight. I’m only a bit jealous. Sorry. Back to the story.
We squeezed into Ironworks that night to celebrate our friend Lance. He was formally releasing his poetry collection but the event that night was more of a community achievement, almost a family affair. A handful of musical friends showed support by giving Lance a break from the mic and blessing us with their songwriting handiwork. Members of Lance’s family served up a colourful Scandinavian feast. In the crowd sat several other shining faces who had played a variety of supporting roles.
Lance offered his poetry with sincerity and wit. The harmonies from our friends Jer and Sheree coloured the walls and laughter stitched us all together. As I sat drinking it in, the beauty of the ordeal struck me. It is magical when friends help friends create.
I believe human beings are made in the likeness of a creative God and as such, I don’t take artistic vulnerability lightly. It’s both magnificent and terrifying to put one’s art on display, be it poetry or music or Scandinavian open-faced sandwiches. Sometimes the terror grips a little too tightly and affirmation from a close friend is necessary. Artists need the odd fist pump or two.
So today’s shout-out is an extensive one. I can’t possibly list you all so please know this: if you are busily creating something and I call you a friend, I am recognizing you. Whether you like it or not, I believe you reflect God’s handiwork when you do what you are gifted to do and it’s a mighty thing. Well done. Soldier on, my friends.
Now here’s some exciting news before I sign off for the night.
The friends who supported Lance that night at Ironworks are up to something big. Jer and Sheree Eisenhauer have an opportunity to uproot from BC and head to Nashville so they can work with Juno Award winner Steve Dawson on their first co-written album. Sheree graciously loaned us her heirloom wooden bassinet when Isaac was born and I’d like to return the favour.
If you have a philanthropic impulse and you want to support the Canadian music scene, may I kindly suggest you direct your generosity in the direction of Jer and Sheree? They need to reach their goal of raising $16,000 in order to make a go of it. If they can’t raise 100% of the support, well, let’s not even go there. Let’s make sure they get to Nashville so they can bust their asses and live the dream, shall we? And as a aside, major props to the lovely Amanda Froese on the beautiful campaign design. See? Friends helping friends create. It’s powerful, people. Please consider joining in the magic.