Day 1032 – Inspiration Move Me Brightly

7.5.19 | Day 1032
Gratitude + Reflections 🌻

“Music is, to me, proof of the existence of God. It is so extraordinarily full of magic, and in tough times of my life I can listen to music and it makes such a difference.”
–Kurt Vonnegut

A few nights ago marked my first Dead & Company concert. Like… I knew it was going to be something special, but couldn’t wrap my head around exactly *how* special it would end up being.

Hubbins McBabydaddy, myself, our 11-year-old daughter, and a family friend all headed out to Dos Equis Pavilion, where we braved the pit section. Outdoors. In Texas. In July.

There were the usual “agitations” (that might be a bit too harsh.. “obstacles” may be a better choice of words?) that come with taking a kid to a live show, so I’m not going to pretend like it’s always this whimsical experience; sometimes it is, sometimes it’s not. BUT MY GOODNESS, Y’ALL, she and I danced, danced, danced + smiled, smiled, smiled

I’ve never felt more at home though, that is for certain.

I’m still very much a novice in the land of the Deadheads (here’s a more in-depth look at what it means to be a young, post-Jerry ‘head like myself) but over the last 20+ months, I’ve slowly found myself “converted” to this boheme lifestyle + spirituality that can only be found if you allow yourself to fully absorb and ruminate on what all Grateful Dead truly encompasses. If you get it, you get it. When you know, you know. And I know (as you’ll see) that I was a Deadhead long before I adopted this newer, much needed way of life; I’d inadvertently been building up and moving toward that moment my whole life, when I officially “boarded the bus” and it felt so good to be home.

Anyway, after entering into the venue, snagging some merch (the most RAD location specific shirt, plus a Wharf Rat Summer Tour 2019 shirt), and taking in the sights, I finally spotted what I’d been looking for: a little fold up table with yellow balloons tied to a pole next to it. The Wharf Rat table. I skipped my way over to it, proudly proclaimed I was two months shy of being three years sober, where I was then given a gentle fist bump, a “Save Your Face” sticker to keep, and a bright yellow circle with giant retro typeface that read, “One Show at a Time.” The last one meant the most to me, because it was a way to self-identify and signal to other Wharf Rats who they could lean on for support if they needed it. In fact, after I pranced away from the table and over to the water bottle refill station, I was met by another Wharf Rat who’d be celebrating nine and half years.


Around 7:20 PM, it was finally show time.


I was totally blown away, but then when they came and shut it down with “Black Muddy River,” I was not okay. I am two months shy of having three years sober — and just… I don’t think I moved the entire time John Mayer sang.

I don’t know much, but I’m pretty confident that the longer I’m in recovery, the more I come to understand that the Universe never fails to deliver when it knows you need to be immersed in something that quite literally moves your entire soul. I swear on my life time stood still during this choice encore performance.

Dead & Company, Dallas, TX – July 2, 2019. (Photo taken by me)

The experience as a whole is most certainly one I’ll never forget, so I just want to reiterate my gratitude for not only everything GD/D&C represents, but for the wave of commUNITY that follows them and practices everything we need more of in this world, ESPECIALLY RIGHT NOW… The sense of magic, warmth, compassion, love, empathy, acceptance, selflessness — I thank all my fellow Wharf Rats and Deadheads alike, for wholly welcoming me aboard the bus; I’ve never felt more at home than I did that night.

NFA ❤️💙


“I will walk alone by the black muddy river,
And sing me a song of my own.

When the last bolt of sunshine hits the mountain,
And the stars start to splatter in the sky.

When the moon splits the southwest horizon
With the scream of an eagle on the fly.

I will walk alone by the black muddy river
And listen to the ripples as they moan
I will walk alone by the black muddy river
And sing me a song of my own

Black muddy river,
Roll on forever.
I don’t care how deep or wide;
If you got another side.
Roll muddy river,
Black muddy river roll.

When it seems like the night will last forever,
And there’s nothing left to do but count the years.
When the strings of my heart start to sever,
And stones fall from my eyes instead of tears.

I will walk alone by the black muddy river,
And dream me a dream of my own.
I will walk alone by the black muddy river,
And sing me a song of my own.”

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