Saint Rocke, Meiko, and Vulnerability

Last night I played @ Sainte Rocke, this great venue in Hermosa Beach. I got the privilege to open for Meiko, a female singer-songwriter that absolutely blew me and my friends away. Her songs capture precious nuances of life that we all experience in some shape or form but usually pass by. She takes life’s tiny details, moments and encounters and gives them importance. She reminds us that our day to day goings are rich with things to marvel at.

As I watched her perform, I came to see that Meiko’s melodic, insightful, interesting songs and charming storytelling, her beautiful, breathy, feminine voice, her clean guitar playing and magnetic stage presence were all attractive details that stemmed from one fundamental thing about her: she is completely herself. She bares herself onstage unashamedly without apology, adjustment, or fear. In sum, she is vulnerable. I realized while watching her that I, along with over a hundred other people, were getting a special, intimate glimpse of somebody being free. I also realized that we were all so drawn to this energy because this is what we all want.

For so many years I have resented society and its social norms and niceties seeing them as spaces where I had to restrict myself. Only in recent years have I started separating the people from the system by realizing that no matter how seduced into society games and fears one is, down deep inside we all want to be free to flow, uninhibited, unmasked, like children do. Nobody likes the obligation of upholding a role and nobody enjoys bullshitting. This is why drinking (and beyond) is so popular in social situations. We want to bring down the walls and connect. We long for intimacy with others, intimacy with our world and intimacy with ourselves. It is our fear that brings us to doubt that something real is going on all around, within, and between us, all of the time, tucked away inside the folds and depths of reality like buried treasure chests. We doubt that it’s “all here”, so we tune out of “here”. We drink, we numb, our eyes wander, our ears hear but dont listen, our minds chatter, our iphones buzz , all calling us somewhere else, sometime else. We are restless and future fixed.

What makes a great artist? Why are people drawn to certain artists? A great artist is someone who is freely themselves and fully present. We are drawn to people and performances where we can get a glimpse of someone losing “themselves” (their ego i.e. fear) and finding “themselves” (their nature i.e. freedom) inside the moment. We all want this and these people and moments give us hope and inspiration that we too can shed our weighty costumes and dance naked.

It is in this sense of costuming or covering ourselves that we have indeed “left Eden”. We have eaten from the fruit of the tree of knowledge of “good” and “evil” (judgments), and have therefore become aware (or self-conscious) of our “nakedness”. I’m convinced, Eden is right here. The irony may be the joke that gave birth to all jokes; The Gate keeping us from returning is self imposed and illusory.

Thank you to those, like Meiko and many other artists of life I call friends, who make themselves vulnerable first. They recognize the grand-scheme importance of their sacrifice, which allows them to tolerate possible judgment, rejection, or misunderstanding of their most precious, sensitive parts. We are perfect and miraculous as we are, right now. Come children, come outside and play!

Great TED Talk on Vulnerability


Saint Rocke Concert Venue