I got out of the house for the first time Friday night to celebrate Susanna's birthday. It was a bit of a gamble considering how exhausted I still am. Recovering from blood clots in your lungs has been deceptive. Most of the pain is gone. I can't see much else that is in process of being healed. It is all internal of course, but my body must be working hard at something.
Anyway, I had bought tickets for us to see Rosie Thomas over at Calvin. I thought it was going to be a concert. For those of you who don't know, Rosie also does this stand-up comedy based on an awkward, neck brace wearing character she calls 'Sheila." The evening started with fifteen minutes of Sheila, then Rosie showed a film about her life focusing on her confusion about making a living as a musician. Rosie is definitely a funny, charming and interesting person. Susanna said afterwards that she wished she could be friends with her.
Yet, the film was 80 minutes long. It could have easily been trimmed to 45-50 minutes and had the same meaning. Some of the concert footage could be included on a DVD as bonus features. After the film Rosie came out and made a few disclaimers about how the film was originally supposed to be a short 15 minutes. She reasoned that the length of the film and its use of her story was a way for all of us to come to terms with our own struggles. The film wasn't so much about her as it was about her suffering and that sharing our suffering ends up being our gift. This was an important observation. I'm glad to have received. All would have been well if she'd just sat down to play some music, but she ended up doing a Q&A for the next fifteen minutes. The evening was finished with only three songs. Well, truthfully, she may have played an encore, but I was so exhausted that we left.
Susanna and I wondered if she felt the need to do Q&A in the manner of a film screening. Perhaps it was my fault in not realizing that I was going to a film screening and not a concert. I'm glad we went, but I'm sad I didn't get to hear more music. Rosie is one of the few acoustic artists I can still stomach. I'm afraid I've become jaded. I can't listen to James Taylor or Emmylou Harrris or even Patty Griffin except for a random song here or there.
The evening with Rosie Thomas was a glaring example of the many ways we search for connection in our society. Whether it is a concert or twitter, its obvious how much we want to be with each other. Perhaps it is my age. I'm less naive. It seems to be more difficult for human beings to substantially share themselves with each other.