Monday, May 20, 2013

Fifty-nine tears.

Wow. What a weekend!  I just spent these past three days at the Vancouver Island Music Business Conference with a Friday-night-showcase set thrown in for good measure.  Fun, informative and casual. My friend Karen and I were there to learn more about the music industry, how we might fit in, and to make connections with the powers that be.  And yes. That happened. It was a great experience and I loved every minute of it – including the chalet we chanced upon through  I will never travel again without consulting this website.  It was perfect.

We ended up staying at this abundantly provisioned hewn-log monstrosity, with comfy beds, fabulous view, big kitchen (although I confess to never having turned on the stove, but rather learning where the corkscrew and wineglasses resided). There was an ample supply of DVDs, slippers and robes, wonderfully-scented linens, and formidable examples of taxidermy in the form of hawks and bobcats. It was quite the place, and I would go back there in a heartbeat.

We were a little off the beaten path, which meant we had to plan our sojourns into town to attend the sessions.  On the recommendation of a friend, we picked up our big Saturday night meal (to go) from the Union Street Grill and Grotto and we were not disappointed. (If you are ever in Courtenay, you should check them out!)

But I digress.  The real point of my story is to share how it felt to be at least thirty years older than the majority of the performers and constituents of the conference. It really brought to the forefront one of my big pieces that I wrestle with constantly… I’m getting old and I’m not sure I like it. What better way to show off my (obvious to me) saggy bits and wrinkles than to be placed next to a beautifully-proportioned waif with the voice of an angel? I had to learn how to just have my experience without torturing myself all weekend through comparison with these lovely young women.  And then there’s the appealing young men who at one point in my life may have paid attention to me. It made me feel sad that I might now be seen as someone to whom this attention didn’t matter any more. 

Don’t get me wrong.  I had a great time.  Laughed hard, played well, and got lots of good comments about our show.

At one point, Karen took a picture of me at a session and tweeted it out (with my permission). When I saw it later, I was horrified at the photo.  Truth is, my abhorrence was actually a form of violence towards myself.  I realized had to learn how to be okay with all of this stuff. And if I’m really honest, I’m in pretty damn good shape for a soon-to-be sexagenarian.  (She said in her outside voice!)

What it comes down to is this.  If I’m worried about how old I look, then it’s just information that I’m not centred.  I’m not in present time.  If I were, this navel gazing wouldn’t even be a part of my experience.  What a relief to figure that out! 

So my new motto is, sixty is the new whatever age I want it to be!

Part of my churning is no doubt fueled by the upcoming memorial birthday celebration that I, along with my girls (Fowl Mouth McPhee), and my son Sean and my wasband-rhymes-with-husband and their band are performing for on Saturday night.  It is a night that I look forward to with much anticipation.  At the same time I ache to know what it might have been like to see Duncan who would now be 28 years old as of this Thursday.

I should be so lucky to have almost 60 years under my belt.

So if you happen to be in town on Saturday night, we are throwing a birthday party, cleverly disguised as a love-fest, in honour of Duncan.  We will be launching a Duncan McPhee Memorial Scholarship through Music BC Charitable Foundation.  Many talented musicians will be on hand to raise the roof, paying homage to a young man who has inspired so many… including me.  His mom.

Come and join us at The Backstage Lounge on Granville Island, from 9 to 1.  You won’t be disappointed!

Branded by life,

Buns.  xo

P.S.  Big thanks to Sharon and Jeff who came out to see us perform last Friday in Courtenay… it was so great to see friendlies in the audience! 

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