Sunday, February 21, 2010

"Take home the CD ... AND the Band!"

Thank God I'm not running the show! I couldn't have planned it so clever!

When we got to San Diego, I thought we had adequate housing for two weeks. We rolled into our apparent new digs at about 2AM somewhere in the hills of Escondido ... and quickly realized this was NOT going to work. God bless our host, for his intentions were golden, but the place wasn't right for us. It was a commune of sorts on beautiful property in a little boulder-strewn valley - a commune whose purpose was to encourage open, ecstatic, even extravagant creative expression of the divine artistic experience - but something had gone wrong somewhere along the way. The place wasn't healthy, and it wasn't comfortable for us. Without going into too much "story", it just didn't resonate with us at all.

Jaime and I slept in a sturdy tent (which was actually quite lovely, the crisp night air breathing me perfectly) and the rest of the guys slept cramped up on a living room floor, turning it into one wall-to-wall air mattress.

We left the next morning, not knowing where we'd spend the night, knowing pretty much no one in San Diego. Oddly enough, the whole commune was evicted only 3 days later for reasons I don't altogether understand. Confirmation that our instincts to get outta there were right on.

So that night we got to our first San Diego performance at Spiritual Living Center Downtown ... with no place to stay. And only 18 people showed up ... I reminded the guys at the start that it's always the right audience ... always. And I had no idea just how "right" I was ...

Towards the end of the show, after HERE II HERE did what they do so well in concert, when the audience had completely fallen in love with them, I stepped to the mic as part of our normal donation collection for the evening. Resting in the knowledge that this experience would play itself out perfectly to teach us all whatever we needed to learn - and that the worst thing that could happen was just a thought - I invited the audience to take home both the CD ... AND ... "limited time offer!" ... the actual band!

Before I even left the stage, I already had people pulling me aside to offer their homes. Later, after the show, a woman came up to me and said ... "Bryan, I'm Janet Hammer. I want you all to stay in my home." ..... I almost dropped to the floor.

Janet Hammer is the Music Director for The Unity Center San Diego - one of the largest Unity's in the nation. She's also the Music Director who most powerfully tested my commitment, trust, and persistence in booking HERE II HERE. I knew at my core the guys belonged in her Unity, and yet she resisted for months. It took all my inner resources to stay focused and help her along powerfully in her process to the moment she finally, still reluctantly, booked the band for her community. And she had come that night to see whether she made the right decision.

So when she came up after the show and offered us her home for 2 weeks ... with a generous, relief-filled smile on her face ... all I could do was melt into the divine awareness of this unfolding magic beyond what my intellect could have dreamed up. I gave her a delicious warm embrace with such gratitude and appreciation. Now, after really getting to know us and see our performances these past 2 weeks in San Diego, Janet's a self-proclaimed HERE II HERE groupie (insisting she's never been a groupie of anything before!) ... and one of the band's - and my - newest friends.

We love you Janet. Thank you for being you so beautifully; for co-creating this amazing experience with us.

She has a beautiful voice ...

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