Day 28: Jacksonville, FL to Detroit, MI
All things must come to an end.
A pleasant alarm sang out on Molhy's cellular device at 0700 hours. Drowsily, I asked what time it was and realized she had set it for me so that I had time to walk to the beach before leaving for the airport midmorning. Feeling sentimental as my journey with the crew was coming to an end, I felt my heart warm at this simple act of unspoken thoughtfulness. As my cellular device remained locked in the apartment we were meant to sleep in last night with the rest of my things, I have no evidence of my beach excursion, but enjoyed the sound of the waves and the ccompany of other morning explorers: parents and children, dogs and their owners, couples, and individuals engaging in self-reflection or exercise.
Kathie and Bill prepared a lovely breakfast in the clubhouse of their complex. I briefly conversed with the expanded FlecHaus family and bandmates, before saying my tired farewells and thanks. An hour and a half later, I boarded my flight for Detroit with mixed relief and gratitude, and promptly closed my eyes to rest.
It has been over a month since I boarded the plane to leave my bandmates behind to make their way back from Jacksonville to Austin. Of course, they made it without tearing each other apart, despite a few crew members having expressed their doubt on the subject as they lamented my early departure.
I cannot recall my expectations before we embarked, but through the obstacles we faced and the problem-solving, compromise and compassion that resulted, one thing that I cannot deny is our growth as individuals and as a group. Personally, I also gained a much deeper appreciation of the impact of music on people's lives. The enthusiasm, energy, gratitude and inspiration that our fans expressed gave me a firsthand look into the fact that we, the creators of art and music, create without any notion of the meaning or interpretation our work will have on any given individual who experiences it. It is our great responsibility, then, to keep creating and sharing art without attempting to divine what our audience will receive from it. I can trust now that this mysterious and glorious connection will occur between the individual and the art that I made unknowingly just for that individual's particular situation and needs.
The Captain, Magoon, McRage, Molhy, and even the Ugly Dog have expressed that we'd like to do it again next year, making use of the practical lessons we've learned to have a different but hopefully equally rewarding experience. I, too, look forward to the Tour Loaf's sophomore journey. Until then, this is the First Officer, signing off. Previous Captain's Log