Another Lithuanian Milestone in the Books: Street Music Day
Updated: May 23, 2022
Yesterday was something of a Lithuania milestone for The Scientist and me.
Let's be real for a second: gathering people together from different friend groups can stoke some real anxiety, warranted or not. Whether it's for a birthday, a wedding, a random social gathering, you just never really know if they'll get along or start to attack each other in epic proportions.
But yesterday, we had our first Lithuanian music gig at Gatvės Muzikos Diena - otherwise known as Street Music Day, and we invited our friends to support us and watch us perform. The Scientist and I have been excited about Street Music Day since, well, before we moved here. Finding out we were both musicians, our friend from GoVilnius immediately made sure we knew about this national event where musicians spill out onto the streets to perform their music. Sure, it's any old Saturday in Austin, but a very big deal in Lithuania.
So after a full day of watching other people perform, The Scientist and I set up right next to a restaurant that still has inter-war Yiddish on it. (I know, so on brand!) But I should mention that it had been raining, and that we have really amazing friends, some who know each other from events we've hosted, like Thanksgiving, and others who have never met.
Having not performed in public for a while - but plenty in smaller groups and in private - I was a bit more preoccupied in making sure I was in the moment, using my voice as a channel. But then, when I looked out at our audience, I couldn't help but be so insanely touched. These people have seen us through one of the biggest events of our lives - moving around the world and building a home - and they banded together to share in our energy once again. The crowd kept growing and growing and growing...
Thanks to my friend Nikki for this photo! Just some of my friends here, plus The Scientist and I all blurry in the background
Since my and The Scientist's anniversary is coming up, the only thing I can measure this feeling to is our wedding. I had that same exact holy, out of body experience, noting that everyone we loved had come together to witness us and enjoy the moment. We were the bridge - they just had to show up.
And then, they started talking to each other! I was on stage, but my insides were screaming with joy. Our friends are - I don't know how to say this - very cool, very genuine, very good people. They're the type that show up to help you move a huge Soviet piano down three flights of stairs, and then - exhaustingly - up three more. No elevator! They watch your dog for three whole weeks when you're visiting family and friends in the United States. They invite you over for Eurovision or to watch Home Alone. They get your pop culture references. It only makes sense they would also get each other, but you never know.
We stayed at the venue for a while with some friends after our show, and then I hopped over to another spot to spend time with others who had left, having the best time while MTV was playing 2000's music videos. (Um, what!?) And then, more of our friends showed up and I silently lost my shit. I was - once again - so happy to see everyone together, enjoying the night, even if my friend Agnė and I were the only ones obsessing over music videos. (Shout out to that Shakira music video!)
But the real milestone is this: we've created a family here, one that's continuing to grow and expand as we meet more people, play more music, go on more adventures, host more gatherings, create even more corresponding coordinates.
I'm going to be smiling about this for the next few days. :)
Until next time, viso gero! Do something creative this week - maybe it'll inspire someone else to get up and do the same.