Sunday, February 24, 2013

New Experiences

I honestly had no real concept of what I 'signed myself up for' last night. No, it was nothing too frightening or scary. Simply something new-to-me.

I don't often do 'new'. I go to the same restaurants and order the same food. All of the time. When we go away for a vacation, I am thrilled from the inside out when I discover a McDonald's and a Tim Hortons in the neighborhood. Whenever I enter a whole new world, I am looking for all that is familiar to me.

I take the same route wherever I go. Once and a while I decide to 'shake it up' a little and find a more scenic route home. Then that becomes my new norm. The same tried and true route going to my destination. The same scenic route on my way home.

Entertainment for me is dinner and a movie. Or going out for a meal. Or going out for coffee. Or getting together with friends. When a friend suggests we try to add a new dimension to our tried and true recipe, part of me is wanting to just sit still and enjoy the company and forget about the 'doing' part. But every single time we do something, it adds a wonderful new dimension to the same familiar routines.

Last night, I was invited to go to a 'House Concert' with a few friends. I had no idea what that meant other than being told that it was held in the garage in the host's back yard. I knew that the 'garage' had been used for holding training seminars prior to this so I was not expecting to sit in a rustic garage like mine. But that was about all I knew to expect.

I was told that this couple put on these 'house concerts' for artists that played to a smaller venue. I was told who would be performing but I didn't google (nor did I really even know that this performer would be googleable) him in advance.

So I sat down in this meticulously clean, bright, candlelit and finished garage (that someone could easily live in, other than the fact that there wasn't a washroom in the building). There was a nook for our pot luck refreshments and there was seating for at least 51 people (I tried counting - I could be wrong). We arrived early and got to pick the best (most comfortable) seats in the house.

Then the show began.

Our hosts were so very personable. A husband/wife duo that complimented each other and set the tone for the evening ahead. We were laughing from the onset.

Then our performers made their entrance and once again, we were laughing and enjoying the personalities of our entertainers as they segued their way into our evening's entertainment.

The music was absolutely delightful. Watching the songwriter perform to the beat of his own keyboard (while accompanied with a back-up singer that just happened to be his sister), you could feel the pulse of the music in your heart. To watch someone perform their art in such an up close and personal way, in such a small venue ... far exceeded any huge concert experience I have ever seen (not that I have much experience in that - the large concert scene is not for me).

The audience is so personable. I sat next to someone I had never seen before in my life and I could feel their eyes upon me when I laughed and conversation was easy when the intermission arrived. How can it be anything else when you share an experience that you can feel in your bones long after the music has stopped?

The artist was Jeffery Straker. His website is: . Click on some of his music. I don't know if you had to 'be there' to feel what I feel when I listen to his voice. And the keyboard ... oh, the keyboard! I love that not only do I have a face to put to the music, I have the 'intimate experience' of a house concert to enhance the flavor of his songwriting, singing and performing abilities. Plus? He made me laugh. I love to laugh. I love music. I love when I get so wrapped up in a moment that I am in awe of the talent that it takes to take a passion and put it all together in the form of an art. It was a combination of everything that makes my heart sing. Plus! I was sharing the experience with friends ...

Music brings the world together in harmony. Last night, within the confines of a garage (that could have just as easily been a living room), I experienced my first House Concert. The outside world ceased to exist. I was transported to a place where peace, harmony, goodwill and laughter reigned.

If someone invites you to experience something new, go for it! If you are brave (or lazy, like I was), go into it knowing absolutely nothing at all. Let yourself experience it like a newborn baby experiences the world.

We know and have the ability to find out almost anything we want to know about in this world of ours. It is a rare treat to experience something completely fresh and brand new, with little to taint your idea of what it could be.

"Blessed are those who expect nothing, for they shall not be disappointed."
~ Unknown

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