follow the flow
a travel journal and photography journey
Last night I sang and improvised at an open mic night with musicians in Montezuma. And I am feeling delighted and mushy and vulnerable and grateful for the whole experience and the people I met through it. And said experience was not very smooth or expected, as the most memorable and remarkable tend to be.
I got into Montezuma yesterday afternoon. Terence and I have been desiring some solo adventure time, so he is in Santa Teresa until I meet him there next week. I walked around the downtown area—which is really the whole area, Montezuma being such a small and intimate town—and I felt so unexpectedly lonely. This solo-time I had been craving was here and I was terrified of it. I knew, though, that these feelings were natural and beautiful. That I was in the midst of the process of discovering what travel is like without Terence by my side. Discovering what travel is like for me, by me, with me. This necessary and fulfilling journey. And that if I just let myself feel lost and alone, the energy stored in those feelings could be free to circulate through my body and be used as fuel for whatever my time here would hold...
So I cried. I curled into a ball and cried in my hostel, praying that nobody else would check into my room so I could be alone in my grief of being alone. I felt my child-self desiring a lap to lay in and a hug and an everything will be alright. I tried my best to give that to myself, without making my feelings wrong, or forcing them to move quicker than they needed.
Eventually movement happened. Movement of emotion which led to movement of body and motivation to get outside. And I met a man on the side of the road selling jewelry. At first, defenses were up. They were saying I don’t want to really engage with this person, he’s just trying to get my money, and I don’t want to use my energy connecting with him. But this man was a divine gift, saying hola in the right place at the right time, I just didn’t know it yet. In his genuine offerings of information about the town and questions of getting to know me, he shared that around the corner there was an open mic night where many local musicians come to play...
Sitting down in Orgánico Montezuma for the first few minutes in what felt like a sea of people—which was really only about 30—I felt raw and fragile, but knew that this was where I needed, and wanted, to be. I could feel my masks of “okayness” wanting to come up, trying to cover the clear remnants of my sadness. But more than that I felt my desire to be myself, raw fragility and all.
Some magic started whirling through the air...people coming and going and music filling the space with sublime melody and passion. Within a few minutes a man asked to sit down with me at my table, to clear up his table for a bigger group of people. His name was Stephen. So friendly, so warm, so genuine and excited about music and life and connection and creation. And I realized within our getting to know each other, that I felt open, I felt honest, and I felt grounded. My recent experience of raw-sad-alone-ness had opened up the gates of authenticity within me, becoming the nourishing fuel telling the parts of me that were scared and lonely that it’s safe to connect and it’s safe to be yourself. And pretty soon, Stephen was introducing me to other locals and friends and creatives—the sea of people I had been afraid of, opening their arms to me, welcoming me into their world, con gusto.
Before I fully realized what was happening, Stephen was up on the little stage playing drums for a friend of his who was on the guitar, and Livio, the owner of the restaurant, was asking me to get up and sing with them. I don’t have anything prepared... I said, the musical theatre girl in me coming through. Livio shrugged with a smile, and said neither does anybody.
So I sang. Timidly at first, waiting for specific moments to add a little harmony, or a background hummm. But the more I allowed the music to move my hips and shoulders, the more I allowed my body to trust that what was wanting to come through was enough, the more sound came forth. And then riffs. And improvisations. And then no more background vocals for me I was full force IN IT. And positively vibrating with delight in every second of it.
And music was made. And it had peaks and valleys and unknowns and freedom. The gods of expression moving through us in those moments we allowed ourselves to be open. And my emotions, those sneaky messengers of divine flow, guiding me to that place.
The performer and perfectionist and critic in me wants to come up with ways that I could have done more; been more creative, sounded better, been more connected, etc. But while I hear those voices and appreciate them for what they are, I know that they are ultimately coming from the space of vulnerability that occurs when I am letting my soul speak through me, when I don’t control myself as much, when I am a vessel for creative energy. And pure creative energy is not always the smoothest, but it is certainly the most alive.