You may have heard, because I am complete nerd and Twittered about it incessantly, that I went to see Paolo Nutini last night. (Yes, again. Second time.) When I was a teenager “rock” music was forbidden in my house. And in college I couldn’t afford these new shiny things called “CDs”, much less a ticket to U2 at Red Rock. Now, finally, at 40 I can buy both a Zune pass AND the occasional concert ticket. I guess you could say I’m a late bloomer.
For those of you who don’t know Paolo Nutini, he’s a Scottish singer of Italian descent who’s got an old school soul. The little Senegalese/British man behind me shouted to me “That young man is black on the inside.” (I just nodded. We clinked beer cups.)
There’s something about being with soulful artists like that which both slays me and brings me to life. There are people who perform. Then there are the people who leave it ALL on the stage — their very soul and everything they believe in, lying there on the rug in front of the mic, sweaty and spent but deeply worth it.
Some artists have great technique, or a gifted hand, or a clever eye. I can appreciate that. But my favorites, well, they have all of this plus soul. They create aÂ resonance, a window — something more than finely-executed piece of work. They create a gift,Â an offering. I recognize it,Â by the way I feel humbled in it’s presence.Â Humbled, and deeply grateful.
Being at the show last night reminded me how much I need to be in the presence of that kind of artistry. Even more so, it reminded me how much I long to participate in development of artists who haveÂ that kind of soul. To be a withmate to them. To help in whatever small way that I can.
I long for that kind of life the same way I once longed for Narnia.Â When I am in it’s presence,Â every particle of my body feelsÂ a pull to return to it’s source. The word that comes to my tongue is “transcendence.”Â
Fear and church and “practicality” kept me from these things in the past.Â Or maybe they just kept me on simmer until the time was right. But now I stand on the top of a hill and cry: “These are my desires. And I won’t give them up to you this time around.”
I’m not sure how to live in the midst of this soulful, artistic passion full time — or even if I have the stamina to do so. But I know I need to be there more often.Â I need to move “higher up and deeper in.”
I’m not in deep enough yet, but I’m traveling. I’m on my way.
*8Things: Passion, You’re Soaking In It
1. The lyrics and full-voiced passion of Mumford and Sons.
2. The sweaty, bent-double soul of Paolo Nutini.
3. The architecture of The Getty in L.A.
4. The way dancer Phillip Chbeeb keeps discovering.
5. The column of light in the center of the Pantheon in Rome.
6. All things Vincent VanGogh.
7. The kids who sing on Glee.
8. Every words that comes out of Leonard’s mouth.
What are the *8Things that let you soak in passion? Make sure half of them are easily at your finger tips, will you? It will serve you well.Â Grab a buttonÂ and play along.Â If you put your list on your blog,Â give us the permalinkÂ in the Mr. Linky below.Â May you soak in passion this week.