The sky is a pale blue due to clouds at eye level, and I’m briefly blinded as a window cover is opened next to me. This flight to Boise has been peaceful and productive. I’ve already read a couple chapters in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, a new favorite, and nearly finished a song for a friend. In fact, I just closed my computer after creating a cello track. Winning.
Much to my chagrin, I’ve had to use the bathroom on this flight due to my two cups of early-morning Intelligentsia. I usually hate using the lavatories on airplanes. I’m constantly worried about the potential for LOST to take place on this flight, and I’ll be sucked out with my pants down. Although, I suppose if there’s a way to go out, that’d be it.
The two-hour layover in Denver will be just enough to meet up with one of my roommates from college, Aaron, who is living in Thornton (suburb), working as a children’s pastor. Aaron is the man. He’s everything you’d want in a friend: he’s outgoing but self-aware, kind but not a pushover, confident but not prideful, and eager to do whatever he can to help out or connect with someone. For example, I texted him this morning and said, a la my normal state of disorganization, that I realized I have a layover in Denver for two hours and would love to see him. It’s a Tuesday morning, so I’m sure he has work to do, yet my dear friend is doing whatever he can to adjust his schedule in order to meet up with me. I’m in awe of his commitment to his friends. I strive toward and attempt to achieve this level of commitment, but I have learned a lot of that from him.
Not many people are really that committed to friendship. I’m lucky (blessed?) to have a few outstanding friends in my life. My first friends in Nashville, Hanna and Whitney, are two close friends that will not only drop anything in order to help me out, but are even thoughtful and mindful of me to go out of their way to do helpful and kind things. Looking up dressers to buy when I needed one; sending me ideas and people to connect with to try to further my music career; offering to help me lug my crap or sell CDs at shows — true quality in people is difficult to find. But Nashville is kind of like that.
A fiend of mine from my old gelato job has given me loads of help and insight into getting show and getting connected around Nashville. Emma, in addition to slinging gelato, collects information on all events in East Nashville for the East Nashvillian. In a recent email to a manager of events, she mentioned me in her email and suggested they connect with me about an upcoming show. People don’t just do that. It is a unique type of friend that goes out of their way to think about how they could help you out, and not only mention it, but do it without asking if they’d like you to.
Several Nashville musicians have told me not to get let down by this warm care and culture southern hospitality. They have been manipulated and used many times for the gain of the one being congenial, and they see this kindness as a facade for self-gain.
So far I haven’t encountered that, and I wonder if that is an integrated change with the makeover the city has been receiving the last few years. Who’s to say? I’m grateful for the friend sI have, and am witness to the fact that true friendship is a gift few people receive.
Long post. I’m done. Landing in Denver as I write this. Headed to Boise for a friend’s wedding and a show. I’ll keep you updated.