Coffee in the New York skyline mug, Themes from the Lord of the Rings and the Fellowship of the Ring by Eric Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops on the iPod. Just call me Frodo this morning--and not for my height or hairy feet. No, I'm on the road to Mordor--otherwise known as Chicago. Don't get me wrong--I love Chicago. I love going to Chicago, I love doing shows in Chicago, I love the show I'm heading up to do TWO WEEKS FROM TODAY! Can you feel the anxiety rolling off my body and flowing through the wires out into the world? I know--breathe. Breathe in, breathe out. It'll be what it'll be. I'll be in that frame of mind by next Monday when it's all over but the shouting. But for now I have to go through the entire process. Really. You can't just "skip to the end" (much as I'd like to). And it's the same (or similar) every year.
I am reminded of a post from earlier this year when I was a week out from a show and I realized that the work I needed to do to be ready for it wouldn't fit into the time I had. Every show for me seems to have some variation of that theme. It begins with absolute panic at the disconnect between what needs to be done and the time and space required to do it, and moves through frantic activity, failures, and unimaginable stress to an eerie calm acceptance of my limitations as a human being bound by the laws of gravity and the space-time continuum. What I wouldn't give this morning for eerie calm.