|8" x 10"|
i recently had the great privilege to attend a neil young concert. it was a true highlight of my life to see my hero, my all-time favorite, on stage, in person: alone, in a spotlight, in front of thousands of people. the tickets were pricey, and many people criticized the cost. for me, the opportunity was well worth every penny, because i knew, i know, what kind of bravery it must require to be that person: alone, equipped only with your skills, presenting your vision to the masses. i went under-equipped, without hankies, and by the end of the evening i had washed every last bit of mascara from my eyelashes and down onto my cheeks. neil young is my truest of heroes, and i'll tell you why: when my mom was not well, i struggled....hard. i knew she was dying, my best friend of friends, and the reality of life as a human, in love and in loss, seemed too cruel to bear. i had my neil young on vinyl and my dad's trusty old record player, and man, i wore that thing out. it was a tonic: in the words of the songs, neil young poetically traced the human experience to a T. i felt like i had a friend, someone who understood to the core, who could convince me that life is truly beautiful. that notion gave me hope. so recently, when i had the opportunity to see neil, marking my thirtieth birthday, it was a spiritual awakening. upon my return, a friend asked how it was, and remarked that the last time she saw neil he reminded her aesthetically of the grinch. she asked smugly if i thought so too, and i was dumbstruck. all i could say back was "he looked like god to me."