There is a black hole on my calendar where there once were lines and numbers. The neat little boxes continue marching forward on the other side, innocently numbered and penciled with plans. Each day pushes me one day closer to that gaping mystery between here and the rest of my life. I have come to the edge of something new: two blank white months that can’t be predicted or planned, and a life beyond it that will be forever different.
This life that I have come to know and understand is quite unlike most lifestyles. To be on the road for a living is to be a professional improvisational artist. You have to roll with the punches, read between the lines, work hard through illness, storm and trouble and sleep whenever and wherever you can get it. But there is a shape and a rhythm to it, and every day has a schedule. Dates are booked, contracts drawn, maps consulted.
After today, there is only one more show booked before the break we’re calling a “maternity leave”. I’ve come to the last rung on the monkey bars and there’s nothing to do but drop. And wait.
During this “maternity leave” I have lots of ideas about what to do with my time while I’m waiting for the baby to be born. I am not worried about being bored. My intentions include songwriting, practicing, quilt-making, cleaning and organizing, self-nurturing, spending time alone with my husband, visiting family, and hanging out with friends. It’s exciting and terrifying to have time on my hands, just as it’s exciting and terrifying that this baby can choose to arrive at any time.
It’s those dates that march forward beyond the baby’s birthday in a never-ending line – those days ahead when I will forget what life was like before this new person arrived in my world – days full of learning and constant wonder and love deeper than I have ever known – those are the days that I can’t comprehend from my current position. Yet, I am required to fill them in with my dumb little pencil as if I know anything. Everybody asks me – what are you going to do? So, I am making plans. I am planning the days based on the only life I know, knowing that I am either choosing wisely or laying traps for my future self to learn from the pitfalls. With prayer and humility, together with our band mates, management and booking agency, my husband and I are planning our “Brave New Baby” tour.
The plan requires something we don’t yet have, which is a vehicle to get there. We have been searching for a long time, but haven’t been able to afford the kind of wheels we really need to make this traveling family lifestyle work in a safe and environmentally-friendly way. So we are casting our line of hope out into the world with a new Kickstarter campaign (from now till August 18th) to help us raise money to buy what we need for those un-plannable days ahead. We’re exercising our muscles of faith and trust. We’re giving up the reigns, believing that good things are ahead, a good God is watching over us and good people are willing to help. It would be harder to believe if it hadn’t been the story of our lives so far.