last night was a delight


Last night will go down in history for me. 

The night encompassed all the feelings I have ever hoped to feel in culmination of a creative project. 

The Bryant Lake Bowl Theater has always felt like a cool venue in Brooklyn, and last night, never more so to me. 

The Film North Society told us that they have a usual attendance of around thirty people, and last night, miraculously, they had their biggest turn out ever of over a hundred people. 

Magic Marc Percansky attributes this to us, but we'll never know for sure. 

The film group is not out to compare or give awards, they're out to screen interesting film projects in the nice cozy theater and get the film makers and actors and artists up on stage to talk and answer questions. 

The environment they create is inclusive, as inclusive as I've ever witnessed in my life. 

Truly an all ages audience of eight months old to eighty years old and a rainbow of ethnicities and apparent sexual orientations were represented. 

I was delighted. 

One delight after another, all evening long. 

We all bundled in to the second or third row in the risers, Magic Marc the executive producer of the Ruby project, Nina Luna my glorious daughter as our photographer for the night, Rob Genadek the producer of the soundtrack to the Ruby short film, I the songwriter and performer of the Ruby song, and our friend and fan Tom from the Secret Weasels who I can always count on for an honest assessment of how it's all looking to the rest of the world. 

The other character in this evening's unfolding was my dear son Jordan who was sitting as he said during our time on stage, he on the speaker of my phone, "sitting in his living room" in Laguna Beach, California listening in by phone to a packed little DIY theater in Minneapolis where the temperature outside didn't get above 9 degrees Fahrenheit that day as they watched his animation work unfold in real time on a big screen and then talked about the effect the film made. 

And what effect did it have on us? 

People cried. 

People raised their hands during the Q&A and told us that it made them cry. 

I cried too. 

We all did. 

I dare say it's something magical that you infuse into the project with your own heart and your own love. 

That's the magic ingredient. 

Rob didn't want to get on stage to talk with the wonderful host, he said Marc and I were enough! 

We were, plus we had the added attraction of Jordan the animation whiz on the phone held to the microphone answering a question or two himself. 

Nina filmed the whole affair. 

Tom said we did a good job. 

Later, when I called Rob who was back at his studio working into the night, he said this about the whole thing. 

"The thing about that project is you didn't have to write such a good song for Marc's dog, but you did. And I didn't have to do such a nice production of the song but I did. And Jordan didn't have to do such a great job with the animation but he did. And that's why it's so special now, we all went all in." 

That's what I am most proud of about last night. 

We took a small thing and we made it beautiful and meaningful.....but only because it is beautiful and meaningful. 

Marc and Ruby are beautiful and meaningful. 

Songwriting is beautiful and meaningful. 

Animating a film of drawings about a guy and his dog is beautiful and meaningful. 

Rob bringing in the great Jeff Victor to play the organ, and Jon James to play guitar for my little song for Marc's dog is beautiful and meaningful. 

I approve of myself. 

Remember that? 

I approve of myself. 

If you approve of yourself you can go all in on small things that don't have the approval of the world behind them yet. 

You can do your daily work with a feeling of excellence and dignity. 

The dignity is inherent, people. 

The dignity is inherent in the work we do with our hearts and hands. 

Marc hired me to do a commissioned piece. 

The Sistine Chapel is also a commissioned piece. 

Money keeps the world going round but it doesn't lift your heart or elevate your art. 

You do that by working with heart and soul and dignity. 

And you achieve that by remembering to approve of yourself one hundred percent. 

Infuse the work with love. 

I tried last night to say something about this on the stage. 

I tried to express this for the audience, saying something about how Marc had said to me that he had approached other songwriters about writing a song for Ruby and that some had declined his offer. 

I said that my advice to independent artists is to keep your heart open and don't fall prey to the ego posturing of trying to be cool. 

Stay open and say yes. 

I did that with the Ruby project. 

I said yes and I gave everything I had, more than money could buy from me. 

And my reward last night was a priceless evening that paid me in a thousand ways. 

At the end of the evening, the front bar at the Bryant Lake Bowl was bustling and fun with a late night crowd of cool looking people, and Nina and I sat down with Marc. 

Marc bought us the nachos with everything on them. 

We talked it all over. 

Marc showed us that he had hunted down a copy of the issue of "Better Homes And Gardens" from October 2000 that had our house featured on the cover and a ten page spread inside about me as a mother, decorator, writer, and musician. 

Marc had brought the magazine along and we all took a look at it. 

Nina was in it, her ten year old darling face beaming from the pages of the magazine. 

I was there too with very short hair, no bleach blonde, just my natural dark brownish blondish hair. 

I looked cute, fine, happy enough. 

Little Ava is there too with her wonderful mischievous smile, and Jordan, who was about four years old. 

Their dad, my husband then, David, looking handsome and confident. 

Our glorious old farm house from 1890, torn down now and several new houses built on what had been our idyllic location. 

Plenty of money, their father being an anesthesiologist in private practice. 

I gave all of my creativity to the house, the garden, the children, the birthday parties, the Christmas parties. 

I had little restraint when it came to giving and to making things beautiful and delightful for everyone. 

My generous soul wants to give. 

I give everything to everything in my life. 

I will give everything I am given. 

It's my true nature. 

Yesterday I read a passage in the book called "The Gift" that was recommended to me by my son and his friend Andreas. 

The passage tells the story of a British couple who spend time in an African village in the 1950's. 

As a parting gift, they give each woman of the tribe twenty special shells to string for a necklace. 

These shells are not from this region and the women accept the gifts with great appreciation. 

A year later the couple returns to the area. 

They are surprised to see that none of the women are wearing the twenty shell necklace as intended but instead each of them wears one or two shells prominently displayed in earrings or necklace form. 

But as the couple travel about the wider area, they see that every woman for miles around is also wearing one or two of the precious shells, displayed in a prominent way as earrings or necklace. 

Oh how I love this story. 

Is this Socialism or is this love and sharing? 

I don't care about the politics of it. 

I care about the gestures. 

I bought beautiful things, I had beautiful experiences, I created beautiful times. 

And somehow I still do. 

I have used every gift I have been given and I have extended the value as far and wide as I possibly can. 

I survive now on very little but I make it stretch as far as possible. 

Last night I was given a gift that I could never buy in any lifetime. 

The curator of the film series approached me at the end of the evening. 

She said that when she stumbled upon the Ruby video for the first time she was struck by my vocal delivery. 

She said, "Your delivery of the song was so earnest and tender that it made me burst into tears". 

She thanked me for that. 

I gave all. 

I will continue to give all. 

I approve of myself. 

I approve of myself. 

I approve of myself. 

Say it loud and say it often. 

It's our key to the kingdom of Heaven.

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