From Where I Sit – Excellent in Theory

I love Johnny Reid’s distinctive voice and humble nature. With our appreciation for his hits like ?Dance with Me,? ?Thank You,? ?Darlin?,? and more, we leapt at the chance to see him in concert in Edmonton. Apparently others agreed, because he performed to four sell-out crowds in the city’s Jubilee Auditorium. We managed to get there on time to see the opening act, which was okay. We were among the hundreds that sat through a half-hour intermission with no explanation and no apparent reason before Johnny came on. On three or four occasions, the audience broke into the spontaneous rhythmic clapping which is the Canadian version of impatient displeasure.

The show itself was incredibly good. Johnny performed without a break for 90 minutes. The nine-piece band and two backup singers in red stilettos didn’t disappoint. I prefer Johnny’s older material, but I’m sure that with enough airtime, his new CD will grow on me too. His heavy Scottish brogue and our seats in the second balcony made me miss much of the explanations he offered about each new number. I secretly hoped for English subtitles?though without the big-screen projection of the stage, I’m not sure where I would’ve seen them.

Most distressing that night was the fact I was sitting right beside Johnny’s most rabid fan. I didn’t know a middle-aged woman could sway through every song, sing every lyric, clap in time, woo-hoo at every turn, and whistle with two fingers in her mouth. At some point she must have noticed that I was plugging my right ear and pulling away, so before the next ear-splitting whistle, she warned me. She didn’t stop the infernal whistling, she warned me.

That is the evening as it unfolded for me: a mixture of blissful appreciation for the talent of a man and his band, and frustration with the long delay and the intrusive behaviour of some fans.

Yet I feel guilty in telling you all this, because I just finished reading The Power by Rhonda Byrne. As with her mega-blockbuster The Secret, the book could have been half the length if all the repetitive bits had been edited out. The premise of this book is that love is the force and the power that can make our lives joyful and full. I don’t doubt the veracity of her message. It is not new thinking, as evidenced by all the included quotations that are decades or hundreds of years old.

What bugs me is the pervasiveness of negative or unloving thinking that I (and perhaps you) am doing. I should have been sending loving thoughts to the woman who was ruining my concert experience. I shouldn’t be telling you anything unpleasant about the night. Byrne advocates that we don’t try to change that which bothers us, but instead let it wash over us without reaction or energy. we’re told to concentrate on the good, the blessings, the loving parts of our lives, and they will increase.

Excellent in theory, a lot harder in practice from where I sit (in the second balcony).

%d bloggers like this: