I’m a Fan Friday: Twenty-One for 2021 – #11

Bristol Borough, PA November 2020

My mother hates crowds. Hates them.

I, strangely enough, kind of love them.

I know that sounds weird, coming from a pretty big introvert like myself, but I can easily get lost in a crowd and not be mad about it.

In June 2011, a job I loved and thought I would retire from came to an end. The East Brunswick School Board couldn’t pass the budget, so my non-tenured can got kicked to the curb.

Losing that job really stung.

My best friend of over thirty years knew I was down and got a hold of two tickets to see the Dave Matthews Band in Atlantic City on the 26th.

It was one of the best experiences of my life.

I got lost in the music and the common love for it with 45, 000 other seekers. I’ve never felt more at one with such a crowd in my life.

This video is footage of that very concert!

I go to it to remember I have friends that love the hell out of me.

I go to it to remember that I am, indeed, deserving of so much more than being a line item on a budget sheet.

So are you!

I’m a Fan Friday: Twenty-One for 2021 – #12

“Grundy Towers” in Bristol Borough, PA January 3, 2021

One of the things I feared most after I first got diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder in 1999 was medicine that made me feel numb.

Even though feelings on the extremes when left unchecked can lead, and have led, to disaster, seeming to not be able to feel anything at all is a far worse fate. I don’t wish it on anyone.

I can’t even describe to you what it (doesn’t) feels like. The only way you can know is if you know.

“Mood stabilizer,” she said. “That’s what you need. You need a good ‘mood stabilizer.'”

I didn’t always understand my doctor’s accent, but we communicated perfectly.

“A ‘mood stabilizer’?” I said. “Listen, I’m totally fine with that. Just don’t let it suck my soul. Deal?”

“I can write you a prescription, but I cannot make deals.”

Sometimes I need a bit of literal. She was always very literal.

I’ve always known that I feel differently than most people. I don’t know what that means, except to say I have always been open to being *moved* in life-altering ways by experiences, and those experiences have never had any pre-requisites for being the ones that seem to have been singled out to make me feel so deeply.

The Celtic Christians had a name for moments when the apparent separation between human beings and the Divine seemed to become more and more transparent.

They called these moments “Thin Places.”

I am on the hunt for Thin Places.

I am Scott Langdon- Thin Places Hunter!

Feeling deeply doesn’t necessarily need to lead to upheaval, as my current life experience is showing me. And, as I said, Thin Places can show up anywhere at anytime. You don’t even need to know what you’re looking for.

That’s why I often go to Sarah Connelly’s performance of “Dido’s Lament” by Henry Purcell when I sometimes feel dull.

This particular rendition is so sad it makes me want to live.

I know that must sound so weird, but it’s true.

Every single time I listen to it, I am so inextricably connected to her sorrow, and there is instantly no room for any doubt about the fact that I can still feel.

*Feeling* is how we get to what really is the crux of this life, namely, recognizing our shared being.

Have a listen for yourself. You’ll see what I mean.

I’m a Fan Friday: Twenty-One for 2021 – #13

Bristol Borough, PA – December 2020

The 1980s were my teenage years. That’s about all I want to say about that.

Actually, I’m totally kidding.

All in all, I had a wonderful decade during the Eighties. I was witness to so many amazing events and historical occurrences in our country and around the world.

I graduated from High School, traveled the world, and began a journey I never anticipated having, when I enrolled in Oklahoma Christian University (College, then) to finish my undergraduate degree in Vocal Music in 1989.

More than anything, though, the arts shaped me during this time in my life in a way they hadn’t before.

Popular music had a few different sounds during the Eighties, and the “David Foster sound” was one I really did, and very much still, enjoy.

In 1988, the Winter Olympic Games were held in Calgary, Canada. Since Foster is Canadian, he was asked to write some music for the games.

I just loved it then, and I love it now.

Enjoy!

I’m a Fan Friday: Twenty-One for 2021 – #14

The Trenton Line. Bristol, PA. November 2020

I discovered Sarah Jarosz a few years ago. I love everything about what she does.

Her playing, her singing, her songwriting and arranging are all first class stuff.

Everytime I hear her perform I want to lean in a little bit; I want to make sure I don’t miss one little nuance because there are so, so many bits of nuance.

Her work with the trio “I’m With Her” is just another example of her versatility. You should check them out, as well.

Sarah Jarosz.

Enjoy!

I’m a Fan Friday: Twenty-One for 2021 – #15

Our Honeymoon in Paris, June 2017

My wife Sarah and I took our honeymoon in Paris, back in 2017. It was one of the best weeks of my life.

One morning, I rose before Sarah awoke and went downstairs to the bar/cafe area that had just opened for breakfast. After sitting down in a seat at a table by the window, I opened my journal and began to write.

It was nothing. Just a few words I’ve long forgotten.

But as I began to write, I felt compelled to stop and take everything in for just a moment.

I was a writer, writing in Paris!

Later that day, Sarah and I found Hemingway’s Paris home. We ate lunch where he likely ate often.

I’m not going to pretend to be Ernest Hemingway’s biggest fan, but his life has always interested me. I imagine his struggles were similar to the struggles I face.

At the same time, I’m quite hopeful our two lives will not end with the same experience.

Corey Stoll’s performance in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” is just beautiful (as is Owen Wilson’s, btw).

This clip shows you why.

I’m a Fan Friday: Twenty-One for 2021 – #16

Our Honeymoon in Paris, June 2017

I love Paris.

I love just about everything about it. I had the chance to visit there for only thirty-six hours in June of 1987 while on tour, but I was miserable the entire time!

Turns out, I had Mononucleosis.

“Ohhh! No wonder he was being such a douche! It all makes sense, now!”

Since then, I desperately wanted a redo.

On June 8, 2017, Sarah and I were married in a simple ceremony. It was the Judge, our photographer and friend Kim Carson (We love our photos!!), and the two of us. That was it.

It was a perfect moment.

For the next day and a half, we enjoyed our beautiful City of Brotherly Love before flying out to experience the fantastically amazing City of Light!

We were there for a week. It never rained once. It was everything I had remembered and hoped for.

Sarah had the time of her life, and that’s all I wanted in the end, really.

Nowadays, when I’m down and in need of it, I go to the opening three minutes and twenty-one seconds of Woody Allen’s beautiful film, “Midnight in Paris.”

It’s meant to be a day in Paris, but every time I watch it through, I relive one of the most perfect weeks of my life.

It makes me happy, plain and simple.

I’m a Fan Friday: Twenty-One for 2021 – #17

I have a beautifully personal relationship with G.F. Handel’s masterpiece, “Messiah.” I’ve always loved it.

Every year during Advent, I have a special evening where I walk alone while listening to a new (or new to me) recording of the entire work. It’s a tradition I love keeping each year.

This particular movement might be my favorite. I hope you enjoy it!

I’m a Fan Friday: Twenty-One for 2021 – #18

Erick Devine was a dear friend. He passed away in April of 2019.

I wrote about him the day after he died. I’ll share it on here, soon.

I come back to this song from time to time because it makes me laugh and then I cry and then I’m laughing and crying and it all becomes one thing again.

Laughing and crying at the thought of Erick is all one thing – LOVE!

“Who are you not to be fabulous?”- Erick Devine

I miss you, dear friend.

I’m a Fan Friday: Twenty-One for 2021 – #19

Bristol Borough, PA – December 2020

When I was in graduate school at Oklahoma City University in the Petree College of Performing Arts, I worked in the Music Library. I watched many amazing, historic performances during my time there.

Few were more influential in their own way than this opera and, particularly, this aria.

I go to it when I want to feel deeply. It never fails me.

I’m a Fan Friday: Twenty-One for 2021 – #20

Bristol Borough, PA – December 2020

I’ve always been interested in photography, but this past year the artform has taken on knew meaning for me.

If I had to pick out one person who was the spark for this outlet I never knew I needed, it would be Joel Meyerowitz.

Somehow, I came across this series of videos (I think I randomly played this one first) and the next thing I knew I was taking an online photography course from him.

His work speaks to me, but it is Joel, the human being, who infuses his work with the kind of joy and zest for life that inspired me to take up my camera in completely new ways and see this art differently.