Monday, October 4, 2010

An Open Letter To Sarah Bareilles

Dear Sarah,

I know that is sometimes considered rude to address a distinguished person -- particularly a person distinguished by their creative acts -- by their first name, but I just spent an evening with you at the Houston House of Blues, and I feel that after sharing this particular evening with you and all the rest of the people who were watching and playing, I cannot call you anything but Sarah.

I had never heard you perform any of your work before -- I had only ever listened to a single track of an a capella version of one of the songs you played this evening. I think I was the only person in the audience tonight in that particular situation.

Thank you for being accessible anyway. Thank you for singing clearly enough and without blasting us so to pieces with over-amplified sound that your words were intelligible. Your voice, so rich and variable, filled the entire house with vibrancy. Thank you for having fans who, when they sang instead of you, were actually clear enough for a person who had never heard the music before to understand the words.

Thank you for your words. They spoke my mind. Thank you for having troubles and owning them, for having made mistakes and owning them, for having been hurt and owning it. You were both emotional and comfortable in your skin (from where I stood, that is). Thank you for having so much fun that I believed you when you said we were giving you positivity vibes; thank you for wearing a sequined skirt, holding notes because you felt like it, enjoying yourself though you sang sad things, and for writing truths in a way that didn't presume you were the first to discover them, didn't deny the unique nature of the individual experience, but also let them be as aged and ubiquitous as they are.

Thank you for playing six different instruments (I included your voice and your dancing self in that count) and snarking us for cheering when you switched between them. Thank you for appearing innocent in your tunic shirt but sassy in your sequined skirt, for being sweet and cursing in the same sentence.

Your earpiece was giving you trouble all night, but you were graceful about it. That was lovely. Thank you for understanding that there are people we can love forever and keep returning to who will never be as good for us as we need them to be, for acknowledging the incredible difficulties of doing things that are good for us but at the same time being empowered by that challenge, for defending a woman's right not to choose a fairy tale, for being honest about the basic troubles of living an open, loving life -- and still having a lot of fun.

You spoke of sober things with a light heart and happy face; you made me feel welcome though you would not recognize me; you made accessible again a certain confidence in openness which heartened me. Thank you for reminding me of things I knew and validating the way I learned them. Thank you for also being possibly too open about your emotional state with perfect strangers.

I think you're really pretty and super talented and have a wonderful spirit. You reminded me that I like to sing and dance whenever I feel like it, that I deserve to be happy whether other people are on board with that or not, and if we ever met, I am sure we would be fantastic friends.

I found you joyful, thoughtful, dramatic, playful, gorgeous, sweet, snarky, sexy, happy, and honest. In short, you are a lot of the things I like when I find them in myself, only a bit more actualized than I think they are in me. You have a way with words and sounds which spoke to me.

Indeed, you spoke my mind, and I have been having a bit if difficulty doing that properly for myself lately. So thank you. I had a really great time tonight!

Warm regards,

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