Monday, February 8, 2010

The $25 Psychic

I have a friend who jokingly compares herself to a $25 psychic. She’s good. Really good. But it’s been awhile since we talked, and so it was a happy surprise this week when, out of the blue, she sent me an email. Something in her note really stuck with me. She wrote: Do not let the luster of Portland wear off … it’s like anything else, you have to work at it to keep it magical and mysterious. You made the right move, Lila.  

Her timing was impeccable, if not a little eerie. Lately it’s seemed the more I’ve settled into making Portland home, the more I’ve entered the somber zone. I have just established my small company with the state of Oregon and keep telling myself, “It’s time to roll up your sleeves and really get serious.” But the more I’ve repeated this to myself, the more stressed I’ve become. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing: It’s forced me out there to make more contacts and, in return, get more callbacks from potential clients. Yet, I couldn’t forget my friend’s words.

It was time to tweak my life and get back to something I’ve always loved but haven’t done much of in the last few years: seeing live music. Following bands I like is a big part of who I am. There was the time I snuck backstage at a Def Leppard show and saw drummer Rick Allen skateboarding … or my first Grateful Dead show at Buckeye Lake where they played Franklin’s Tower and Sugaree. Live music has always helped me stay in the present, except maybe for that Dead show. 

The good news is that live music is a big part of Portland’s cool scene, too. I have no problem seeing music by myself. In fact, a decade ago, as I attended an Atlanta show solo, I met a big group of friends, many of whom I still keep in touch with today. So when I caught one of my favorite musicians named Tony Furtado performing at a place called The Woods, a former funeral home in Portland, I figured maybe I’d meet some new faces. As is the case with randomness and small worlds, I did indeed run headlong into some like souls. Turns out, one of them is a friend of a friend, who was also at the Furtado show and introduced us. Later in the week we met up to catch another talented musician. For me, I was getting back to living in the moment. 

I'm realizing it shouldn’t matter if I live in the same place for six months, six years, or a lifetime. What’s important is to try to keep the luster, magic, and mystery going. It’s something I suspect my $25 psychic friend knew all along. 

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