At a concert/conversation we played in Albuquerque, a young man shared with us his impression of what we are doing, which was perhaps the greatest possible affirmation of the heart of this tour.

He said that he often enjoys going to concerts, but that when you show up and listen to music and then go home, it’s ultimately a transactional encounter with the musicians giving and the audience taking. And on the flip side, he and others in his mostly-Mexican-American community are so often approached by well-intentioned researchers asking for their stories. He sees this as a bit exploitative because he feels that they are often taking the stories and experiences for their own benefit, even if people are genuinely listening and learning from them.

He expressed that he saw, in what we were doing, the strongest example of symbiotic generosity he has ever come across in this sort of context: we are vulnerable with our sharing of stories and songs from our perspectives and experiences, and in the intertwined conversations, we hold space for really listening and learning from the perspectives and experiences to those who have gathered there. This kind of mutual sharing is something that he would like to see much more of in the world.

That symbiotic generosity is what I care about most, and it is definitely at the heart of this tour for me. I was so grateful to hear that that heart seems to be manifesting in the way we intend it to!


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