February 29, 2024 - University of Toronto, Canada

Lately when discussing my Homeric-inspired work with audiences, I've found myself marveling at how beautiful and strange my path has been, marked with luck, mystery, and coincidence.

A lot like all of life.

When I think about my journey now, I feel something I can only describe as wonder. A spiritual sort of wonder. And gratitude. 

My Odyssey show at University of Toronto was the only Odyssey show out of six total performances in Ontario, Canada, the last week of a leap year February. The other five were Blues of Achilles shows, one a day for five straight days, Monday through Friday.

All the shows were great but at the third Blues of Achilles show on Wednesday at University of Waterloo, something happened and for the first time I felt like I nailed the pace and tenor of the storytelling between songs. The fourth Blues of Achilles show on Thursday afternoon at Brock University built off the previous day and I could tell I was in a different place with the material. 

I hustled to Toronto to play my Odyssey show that evening. It was great. It was Odyssey show 372. Odysseus fits me like a glove now (probably always did). Excellent students, great dinner, cool hotel. A run the next day in the crisp cold Toronto morning through streets that were so reminiscent of Chicago that I got nostalgic for a place I had never been.

Then to McMaster for my final show of the tour. 6 shows, 5 days, and oh I forgot 2 additional lectures on Homer and my adaptation process for myth classes. 

At McMaster, the room filled to the point there were dozens standing in the back and they had to turn audience members away. I started into The Blues of Achilles and my performance muscles flexed differently. Everything, everything clicked. It was, I think, the best I've ever done anything musically, and I never ever think let alone say that.

I had a seven hour drive home to think about the week.

McMaster on March 1, 2024, was my 87th Blues of Achilles performance (virtual and in person). My very first was March 2, 2020. Exactly four years.

I don't have great records of my early Odyssey shows but based on what I do have, it was eleven or twelve years between my first and 87th Odyssey performances.

Four years into my Odyssey journey, I was on the cusp of all but giving it up for what amounted to four years.

The day I'm writing and sharing this blog (and I didn't know this until I looked just now) is six years to the day of when I first put pen to paper about The Blues of Achilles.

Beautiful. Strange. Mysterious. Wonderful. Humbling. 

These words also describe Homer.

Which is no coincidence at all.

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