I’m going to be seeing Amanda Palmer — aka AFP1 — this evening. I’ve been looking forward to this tour before she announced it. I’ve been listening to her music quite a bit over the last couple of years and her writing on The Art of Asking was profoundly important to me. My wife and I missed her a bit over a year ago as our travels overlapped. I knew I’d want to see her the next opportunity I had. It turns out, it will be in a setting unlike what she’s ever done. Solo. No opener. Just her and piano, and ukulele. And hours (I think she played 5 hours in Denver last weekend). And with intention.
She’s coming to town to tell us her stories about abortion. And miscarriage. And death. Loss of all kinds. She’s coming to make us sad. At least, it can seem that way.
A friend of mine was telling me about an interview with AFP he heard the other day. “She was articulating what I’ve been thinking for a long time,” he said. “We need to heal. We need to address the deepest wounds within us. Nothing less is needed to change the society we live in.” Yes, I thought. That’s what this tour is about.
It’s not simply about hearing some sad stories and moving songs. It’s about catharsis. It’s about healing. It’s about coming together to face the darkest parts of our lives and the world. It’s about holding each other. We can witness our own loss in her. She will be a projection screen. We will lay upon her what is alive within us. We will process what’s in us.
As my friend said, this is a step. It’s not the only step. It’s a step. I think it might be more important than we realize. I was just listening to spiritual teacher Thomas Huebl speak about meditiation and mystical practices. He talked about how even though they can certainly be solo practices, they have the potential to truly be collective practices. Social practices. By coming together with intention, we open to something larger together.
Am I putting to much on a concert? Maybe. But isn’t it better to hold the highest possibility? This isn’t to put any pressure onto AFP. No, if anything, it’s to help ease the pressure on her. We are all in this together. This is for all of us, and it is by all of us. Together, we begin to heal this piece.
You can dig around on the internet if you really want to know why she’s known as AFP.↩