I just got back from watching Jamie Seerman and numerous other people from the anti-folk scene performing at Pete's Candy Store. It is a pretty nice bar to watch music in. Intimate, well-lit, kitschy. I got a little tired after watching three performers, and had less and less patience as the night wore on. I think three is the perfect number in many respects. This now includes the number of musical acts that should perform on a bill. Anything past three and the audience just gets tired, which is bad for everyone involved. The musicians aren't enjoying an engaged reception with their work, and the audience gets restless, and as result are not having any artistic visions. It ends up in bad art for everyone involved.
Watching Jamie though, and going to see her perform made me aware that I am friends with talented people who often want to share their amazing gifts with their friends, and I feel like I am not doing my part in these friendships, that I do not have beautiful creations to trade with them. It is unbalanced, there is taking and no giving, feeling of unworth. Tonight, I felt like a bit of a putz and thought that I needed to live a more inspired life so that when I see people like Diana and other people who ask the questions, "So what's new? Are you still working at the Strand?" that I can reply No, or can say Yes, I am still working there and I am also doing this amazing thing and this amazing thing.
Friends are good for sharing. I have found out about so many bands and so many writers from good, knowledgable friends. Their knowledge has inspired me to also see the world from these perspectives. I like cream cheese rolls because of Jamie. I like Amy's Burritos because of Bonnie. Friends are good for sharing their tastes with you, letting you discover that mmm, mmm, that is an amazing food product. Or that yes, that is wonderful, that music, or that yes, that is wonderful, those gigantic cloud formations.
And friendships also give the (positive! yes, positive!) gift of insecurities. Your friend works for positive social change. You feel insecure about your own uninvolvement with working towards social change. And out of these insecurites you become more aware of your own self, of your own actions, and often times, to quell those insecurities, you will take action to try to be a "better" person. Similar dynamics go on when you are friends with a creative person constantly producing pretty good art, it makes you want to nourish your own artistic tendencies. It makes you insecure about how you have been negligent in creating objects, about sharing things with this world. And for this, friends are awesome. Seeing Jamie tonight did make me feel a little insecure, made me whip myself for not being as good a human being as is possible. And now I know and will work on change, will work on sharing. Friends rock.