I’ve always admired the movie Once, mostly because the story told in the songs and through the visuals is realistic. It takes craft and defiance to atypical story arch for a movie to unveil the truth that sometimes the people and experiences that play in our encounters with love, are not always that which prove to be love’s stopping point. In these more frequent than not instances, love’s ultimate destination is to specific version of our very selves, one that is arriving or departing. Love creates a marker for us of who we are. Where we are in the sky that is our life. And it’s the creators in life, who are in the flow, whose art brings us to this subtle awareness of ourselves. Musicians are yogis.
Six years ago, Once initiated my continuing curiosity in the chance that all many tiny love stories in my own life were really invitations to mark points of meeting with that version of myself in time – with whatever capacity I find myself creating in the world from the experiences life feeds me.Both this notion, and Once, has followed me from my days in Glenside, to my final evening of my year in New York City, and back again. Markers. Versions of me arriving and departing. Over and over.
It is just the distinct blend of Irish storytelling and lyrical craft of Glen Hansard’s songs that have inspired these many markers. The way he arranges his words finds me in remembrance of every blessing & curse, and I’m left to marvel in a oversized faith that what is to come is grand, hand crafted, and better than I can imagine. I’m deserving of just that. We all deserve something in life that moves us to this point of hope and trust.
Monday night, Glen Hansard came to my hometown and performed the Keswick Theatre, at a venue that has been in Glenside for more years than I know. In my dad’s days growing up in this town, it was a movie theater. The space was later renovated to fit a stage and throughout the years, has hosted the generations of Glensiders in Summerstock performances, dance recitals, and frequent and sometimes epic visiting performers. Eight summers of my childhood I spent on this stage and throughout my teenage years I watched a few great artists come through and add the echoes of their lives stories in the walls of this knowing space.
To have Glen Hansard on the stage Monday evening was more than a just a single marker. His lyrics heard live brought me to the realization that all of the markers of me were converging. His songs have fed many a version of Kate – Marked many illuminations, pilgrimages, beginnings, endings, and everything in between. His performance was a point of intersection of all the versions of me. Like a constellation. All of the dots connected. And all of the versions of myself honored and very much present.
Glen Hansard began his days as a musician as a busker in Ireland. Really and truly just him and his guitar on the streets of Dublin. And from that version of him, with everything that came for him in between, he found himself beginning his leg of his latest North American tour in little Glensida, Pennsylvania. And somehow, stars aligned for the current version of Kate to be there, standing on the shoulders of all of her past versions, all of the markers of all of her moments.