Thursday, October 22, 2015

Getting in Touch with My Rebel Heart


Waiting for Madonna!!
Saturday night, October 17, 2015, I got to do something I'd wanted to do since I was a teenager. I attended a Madonna concert. I'd tried before, but timing, money, life had interfered. This time I was on it. As soon as I found out her Rebel Heart Tour was coming to Portland, I set out to the buy the tickets. I also checked on when she'd be in Kentucky, just in case Portland didn't work out. I figured I could work a family visit around attending the concert.This time I was determined to make it happen. Portland happened! Yeah! (Sorry, Kentucky family and friends.)

My husband was a bit concerned that my expectations were too high, and I'd be disappointed.

Nope, not even a little bit. I loved every single moment of it. (except the long wait before it started, but I'll let that slide.)

I love the Rebel Heart album, the explicit version, mind you. No cleaning it up for this girl...

Madonna was raw and funny and real. She was professional and imperfect and perfect. She was honest and cynical and optimistic. She was playful and serious and flirtatious.She was engaging and aloof and achingly real.

She talked about her gratitude for her fans and her desire to promote equality throughout her career. She even tossed in a line about being grateful for clean water to drink as she took a swig from a bottle of water. She sounded sincere. Anyone who knows me knows I'm a sucker for gratitude.

She talked about her belief that love is the way to a better world and that we need a revolution of love. Something I wholeheartedly agree with.

She didn't lecture, she mentioned these things in the midst of a highly energetic two hour performance filled with dancers and new songs and reinterpretations of old songs.

Yes, she was provocative and sexual and sensual and sexy and irreverent. That's Madonna!


Madonna Burning Up the stage
The songs she chose to sing took me on a stormy cruise through emotions and memories. The new stuff she chose electrified the room and her choices for her older songs felt right even if she didn't include every song I would've liked to have heard. Of course, given her body of work and my propensity for liking the songs she doesn't release as singles even better than the ones she does, I didn't expect her to. I teared up at times, smiled nostalgically at others, cheered during several songs, danced, and sang along even though I avoid singing in public because well... trust me, no one wants to hear that... But I didn't care.

When she sang a few lines from Lucky Star, I felt a pull back a high school dance where I danced to the song by myself when none of the other dance attendees joined me on the dance floor. You can read my poem about that dance on Dear Teen Me.

She is unapologetic about being the center of attention, yet she often showcased her dancers as much as herself.


Madonna sharing her
  Rebel Heart
The evening held a certain nostalgia combined with a sense of the rebellion that I found inspiring and endearing. In many ways, the entire concert screamed the message of  her song Rebel Heart pointing out that it's her journey, her life, her choices... Like It or Not...

I screamed  "YYYEEESSSSS" when she said "When I'm wrong, I'm strong." because I get it. So often when we're wrong, it's our strength that pulls us through, that pushes our heads a little higher, that empowers us to take the next step forward no matter how scary, no matter how vulnerable we feel, no matter how painful. And for artists that often means taking our mistakes and turning them into music, art, poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and other creative works that put our mistakes in front of the world to see and judge and love and hate and celebrate and ridicule! We take our pain, our fear, our vulnerability, and entertain the world with it...

And, that takes a bit of a Rebel Heart...


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