I had a great time in Denton last night. I'm always hesitant to say stuff like this, but I think Denton might be my favorite place to play in the country. Shows are always so much fun there. Plus, Denton Square Donuts, Recycled Books, the Town Square in general, good friends, The Village Church, college town, wonderful locals… lots to love about that place. We got a late start, and all day I had a terrible sinking feeling in my stomach like I'd forgotten everything that I owned in ten different places, but done's done, and the tour has commenced.
I started a new set on this tour, complete with video projections, audio, all kinds of jams. I wanted to start tracking stuff from Seasons on these dates when The Girls aren't out to play with me, but I didn't want to stand on stage and push an iPod between poems. One of my long time best friends in Albuquerque is a super tech-savvy creative, and with his help, I think we accomplished something that carries the set along without cheesing it up with looping tracks.
However, he's tech-saavy one. Ergo (ergo?), Benton, AR's tour kickoff was a mild disaster where, well… everything just stopped functioning the way it was supposed to hallway through the set, so I stopped it and finished out the time with some different pieces than I had planned. Perks of being a poet, I guess, but it was disappointing, nonetheless. So, I owe Little Rock a full show as soon as I can get back there. Very appreciative of the folks that drove down (or in, or up, or out) for the night, though. With venue changes and last minute setbacks, the event went surprisingly well.
Sean started us out for the tour by addressing Hebrews 2, reminding us of the author's exhortation to pay close "attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. For since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable, and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation?" We prayed, and are praying (and you can pray with us), that we don't neglect our inner man, individually, or one another, collectively. Pray for unity, pray against dissension. Pray for patience and kindness and rejoicing and love that bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things.
Personally, as well, I'm just praying for peace, inwardly. I have such a tendency toward anxiety and fear that reflects itself in my composure - especially when it comes to playing shows, and more-so now with something new. I need to constantly remind myself that though I have work to do, it is participatory - a good work that the Lord has prepared for me and invited me to participate in, but not a work that says I need to prove myself (or the work's goodness). I have a note in my phone that I come back to often which says, "God has prepared my work for me today. I can rest in that. I don't need to do more. He is sovereign over it all - good stewardship or bad. Approach the day with holy busyness and trust God with the time he let me participate in today." I hope that, especially as I get some of these kinks worked out, I can rest in just letting shows go how they go. Ultimately, how much can you control? And how much can you fix with your worry? And how life-giving is your constant concern?
I met with a buddy of a mine in Albuquerque a couple of days ago, Brian Gaiser, and he had some amazingly encouraging words for me before I left for this tour. Just talked about how I can be confident in the power of the gospel, encouraged that the Lord really is doing something with this project, and bold in the art that he has allowed me to create. If anyone has a gift of encouragement, it's this dude. Christian, it's good to be a dude like this, and it's good to have dudes like this.
I'm not quite sure why I always feel so weak. Timid. The enemy tries to tell me that the weakness is evidence of faithlessness. For a long time, I believed him, but I think I'm getting better at recognizing that lie. I'm thankful for good friends that reinforce the truth. May Jesus' strength be made perfect in my weakness.
Plus, I'd just like to lighten up. Haha. Brandi called me yesterday and said, "Levi, just have fun." I don't know how it's so easy for me to forget that part. I know my dad would've been happy to know that I married a girl who reminds me to get outside of my head and breathe a little.
We're going to be in Austin tonight. For anybody that wants to follow along with the tour via other social means, the hashtag is #AwkwardBlues. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, this blog, wherever hashtags are used, I suppose. We'd love for those of you that make it out to the shows to use the tag, as well. Keep those memories alive, yo. Thanks for sharing in them with us.