The Music Tapes, of Elephant 6 Collective fame, played a secret show in our basement a week ago. Julian Koster, a former member of Neutral Milk Hotel, sang the sweetest songs, played games with the audience and told magical stories for over two hours. The most touching moment of the night involved a game Koster played as a child. As the audience wore blindfolds, Koster lead us through an almost meditative exercise visualizing a chalkboard in a room as a storm raged outside. We were asked to draw a circle on the chalkboard, while being aware of our warmth and safety in the room. In the circle, we were asked to write the first thing that came to our minds we were thankful for. As we were visualizing the chalk circle, Koster fanned the audience replicating a wind storm. Then the band members passed out pens and paper, and we wrote down the thing that we were most thankful for. Later in the evening, Koster brought a giant cooking pot and asked each participant to  pick their favorite childhood number as the torn-up pieces of our written thanks were mixed with salt. It was after 1am at this point in the evening. We took the cooking pot outside and the contents were lit on fire in the backyard. Everyone took turns jumping over the kettle, laughing with joy. Needless to say, the night was an amazing, unforgettable experience.

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