On my recent six week tour (Israel, Tokyo, Vancouver, Boise, Rochester) I spent more than half the time in the care of host families. When I was coming up I was taught that staying in hotels was a business standard. It was part of how you assert your needs for privacy, and claim your stature as an “artist.” The better the hotel the more “respected” you were.
In a certain space in the market, this is true. But there is another way. Now, when appropriate, I ask to stay with a host – an individual or family. The arrangement provides a context for relationship. I learn about being a gracious guest, they learn about generous hosting. And there is the possibility of becoming friends.
Relationship is hard in a pressured society. Every possible moment to change that, to promote spaces for conversation, learning, sharing, and simply being with one another, is a possible moment to literally change the world. We never know what moment will be the one that plants the seed in a heart that opens eyes or ears forever.
This is all to say “I love you” to all the hosts who have taken me in over the years.