I have not been writing here much, which does not mean I have not been writing. I finished two writing projects, offline. But I wanted to come back here as well and share some of my adventures from the last month. I treated myself to a trip to New York and Lancaster, to visit friends, to visit a few places that are meaningful to me, to spend some time sightseeing and – primarily, to go to Josh Groban concert in Madison Square Garden, New York.
There are moments in life where we step onto another level, as if the floor moves up higher, our heart and soul are lifted up, and for a moment all the worries we usually carry within dissipate and hope rises up instead. Often those moments are shared with someone close to us. But on a rare occasion a public event does the same. Josh Groban’s concert usually provides that kind of experience for me. Sitting in Madison Square Garden was like a ‘mountaintop’ moment in my life, when after a long climb, perhaps a few falls, I came up on the highest clearing on top of the mountain. The view stretched far in every direction.
It was not only Josh Groban. Idina Menzel, who was opening for Josh, was simply breathtakingly amazing. She became famous through the musical ‘The Wicked’. I knew she was a good singer. I did not know I was going to be that impressed.
Mountaintop moments also remind us of what we love and where we belong. As I was enjoying the view from the top in New York, my eyes could see further away in the distance, towards those green Irish hills that have my heart. In those moments when a heart is on a ‘high’ it is hard to sum up the thoughts, emotions, sentiments that are born with every heartbeat. Somehow they bring up a rich quality of longing for: home.
A few years ago, in May 2016, I had another ‘mountaintop’ moment, that time in Dublin. Josh Groban was touring for his album “Stages” and when the time drew nearer to the concert I realised I did not have a ticket, but wanted one. But there were no more tickets! The almighty and ‘all-knowing’ Facebook read my mind and suggested I buy a VIP ticket. This included meet and greet, and a very good seat almost at the stage. I said to myself, “I live only once. I’m going to go for it” and to this day have not regretted it.
All the VIP people got an email with instructions when to arrive, which I was not aware of as I did not get that email. I came, in my view, early. The person at the ticket desk said, “Oh, you are Iva. Follow me”. He took me upstairs to a room where everyone was having cocktails and I felt very VIP. There he introduced me to a man in charge who told me, “Unfortunately you were late. You missed the meet and greet”. Ah! What? He explained about the email. I explained I never got it. And thankfully there were two more people who also never got the email so the man said, “I will talk to Josh. Let me see what I can do”. Little nervous, but hopeful, I chatted to other VIPs about their experiences. The man in charge came back and said, “Josh said he will meet you after the show. Wait for me at the ticket desk, and I will take you backstage”. Yes, sir! This turned out to be better, than the official ‘meet and greet’.
When one artist meets another, though Josh Groban didn’t know I’m an artist too 😉
I remember at the time, I was trying to figure out what was behind an infatuation with a celebrity, as I certainly had it with this guy and another one who is a life coach. The fact they look gorgeous helps, but I don’t think that’s it. Mark Twain (apparently) said, “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why”. These guys do what they are supposed to do, they are who they are supposed to be. They are not perfect, but that’s their charm. Josh Groban is amazing in what he does. When he is on stage you see he is born for this. If you are not familiar with him YouTube can give you an idea of the beauty of the songs, but the concert will blow you away. At his concerts I am regularly reminded that we are all created for greatness. And if what you do can inspire that in others, you will attract people.
Life brings us through mud sometimes. You know, those experiences we rather would not go through. Then, thankfully, we either recover or graciously end up on a mountaintop. We should make the most of it when that happens, because the view is beautiful. Some people’s lives help us to reach and enjoy those mountaintops, and they do it with humour and style. That’s where our infatuation with them lies. Or perhaps I should just speak for myself.
© Iva Beranek (1st December 2018)
Photos by © Iva Beranek
(Last 3 photos: two distant ones are from New York, the closer one is from Dublin)