Erica and the rest of the students who helped me that day with the concert.
Wednesday 7th November 2007 - Singing at the Thomas Newman Center in Columbus, OH
It's been an intense day. So, I was scheduled
to sing and talk to the students at the St. Thomas
More Newman Center at Ohio State University about creativity,
faith and share about how these influence my music.
The talk and performance was scheduled for Wednesday, the 7th
of November at 7.30 p.m in the evening.
I figured I'd catch the direct flight on Skybus at 9 a.m
in the morning from Burbank airport, get into Columbus, OH
at 4.20 p.m and have enough time to get ready for the performance,
and be set to sing.
Little did I know my plans would be tossed out the window.
I reached Burbank airport at 8.05 a.m, and went through security
twice because the first time around, my shampoo and conditioner
bottles were deemed too large to bring on-board and so
I had to purchase TSA-approved bottles ($7.99 at the airport
store for a few flimsy bottles! ouch) for the toiletries and go
around through security again.
Thankfully, I got through security with no problems the second
time around and made it to the boarding gate with time to spare.
All the passengers were milling around the boarding gate and by
8.57 a.m, everyone started wondering why nobody from the
airline had boarded us yet for the 9 a.m flight.
Finally at 9.10 a.m, the captain made an annoucement saying that
one of the crew members was incapacitated and thus they only
had 2 out of the 3 federally-required crew members needed for the
flight. Hence, they were going to look for another crew member.
In the meantime, the captain told everyone to take a 20-minute
break and that we would board the plane as soon as they resolved
the crew-member issue.
I walked to the hamburger stand and got myself a nice hamburger
so that I would have something to eat on the plane since
it would be a 4 hour flight and there would be no food served
Finally at 9.30 a.m, the captain made an annoucement that
the flight was CANCELLED because they could not get another
crew member for the flight. "This the first and last time I'm ever
going to fly Skybus!" I thought to myself, wishing I'd flown out
the day before instead of the day of.
Oh no....I thought, there goes the performance, there is
no way, I'd be able to get a last-minute flight out
to reach Columbus, OH on time for tonight's performance.
I called Tom, the student campus minister to tell him
the unfortunate news, but also told him I'd be trying to get
another flight out.
Next, I called Kavin and asked him to check online to see
if there was any other flight available. I was not too hopeful
about my chances though and started thinking to myself that
there was no way I could possibly make it to Ohio on time.
At 9.40 a.m, Kavin called back. "There's a flight leaving
on Southwest Air 1776/991 at 10 a.m. It will get you in
to Ohio at 7 p.m. It's the only one available. You'd better get
moving." (it felt like a Charlie's Angels moment)
I ran to the Southwest Air counter, reached the counter
at 9.43 a.m and told the ticketing agent my predicament.
She said "You're looking for a miracle." But she managed
to get me a stand-by ticket at $379 (ouch, one-way!)
and told me to hurry to the gate. It was still not guaranteed
that I would get on the flight. Only if someone didn't show up
for the flight would I get on the flight.
It was a blessing that I didn't have any baggage to check-in,
that there was not much of a line at the security-counter.
I ran to the boarding gate and told the staff there I had
a standby ticket and asked if I could get on the flight.
'Yes, there are seats available.'. YEs! I messaged Tom
at Ohio and told him I'd be there at 7 p.m, so that he'd
be ready at the airport to pick me up.
Got on the plane. Stopped-over at Vegas for an hour, where
I took the time there to change and put on make-up because I knew that
once I reached Ohio, I'd basically be hitting the ground running
to make it to the gig on time.
Thankfully, I got to Columbus, OH on time and TOm was there
to pick me up. We got to the Newman Center by 7.35 p.m
and by 7.45 p.m, I was sitting at the piano,singing for the students.
I got my miracle.
So here I am, sitting in the guest room of the Paulist Father's house.
It's a comfortable room, simple, with everything I need. I'm thinking
back to tonight's performance.
It's the first time I've been asked to talk about how
my faith has influenced my creativity and my music,
and to sing my songs too. It was lovely to see the faces
of people getting the points of what I was trying to convey,
It was lovely to see Erica's smiling face, to see Fr. Larry
Rice smiling and nodding along to what I said. It was also
nice to see some fans from Indonesia there, including Hendry
who had emailed me about 'Close to You' sometime back.
Janelle and Robert had driven 3 hours to be there, and Dennis
Simpson and his wife had driven 100 miles to be there too.
It was so heartwarming to know that they had made the time
to be there. The Simpsons and I
There were moments of real connection where I really felt
the joy of proclaiming Mary's help to me and the Lord's
hand in my life; then there were other moments I felt myself
stumble and fall into the water, like Peter, who doubted
and sank into the water he had previously been walking on.
I said what needed to be said, but a part of me wishes I could
have said more. But let me put my fears, my inhibitions, my disappointments,
my joy into the Lords' hands and offer it up to Him.
Let Him have the work of my hands, no matter how meager
I may imagine it to be.
After the performance, I spent some time chatting with
those who had come, and sold some cds and took some pictures.
By the end of the evening, it was close to 11 p.m and I was
starving. Fr. Larry was so sweet in helping to whip up
an omellete with chicken and tomato for my supper.
He is quite the cook. I also met his pet Ferret
Quark, named after the Star Trek character!
Altogether a wonderful day filled with many challenges