I’ve got the magic hour candle burning. The laundry is whipping around. The sink is full of dishes. I finally vacuumed my car out from the summer. I feel like a bachelor (pardon the stereotype), living off clif bars and pizza luce and refried beans. It’s all good stuff, but damn it’s been a lot of stuff!
I hope you’ve had more time for self care then me! I plan to sleep more … once I finish this kickstarter, record this album, and complete the last season of The Walking Dead. :O) This weekend heading to teach at a yoga retreat, so that should help!
Good morning to you on World Mental Health Day. I want to re-post a piece I wrote for an excellent local mental health organization called Dissonance and share with you some struggles I had as a teen, which sometimes linger and loiter into my adult years.
This blog was originally posted on the wonderful Dissonance blog, a mental health + creativity support organization whose mission is as follows “Dissonance examines the intersection of creativity and wellbeing, working to create safe spaces, smash social stigmas, and shape education and business practices relating to mental health, addiction, and compassion in the arts. In short, we want to contribute to a healthier environment in the arts community. Collectively, we need to find new ways to support, sustain, and celebrate creativity.”
Please be sure to follow their work, check out their programming, and enjoy their blog at www.dissonance.website
Crashing into Nature: Survivor Guilt and Butterflies
I could easily say, “I wasn’t your normal American teenager,” but I don’t think there is such a thing as a “normal teenager” … or even “normal” in general. Sometimes I’ve heard that your first trauma is where you might stay stuck developmentally. And I wonder if that’s why often I feel reckless and distracted, and consistently on an emotional roller coaster, like the 16-year-old I was when I rolled my parents’ Buick LeSabre and hung upside down by my seat belt while the trance music blasted and the car interior bathed eerie electric green from the clock on the dash.
Gaelynn Lea’s Learning How to Stay cuts through the fog
It’s the eve of the fall equinox and my self-diagnosed SAD is kicking in. The past week has been all rain and thunder and bluster. More chances to stay inside with the tea kettle and contemplate the cold cruel world. I keep returning to a song, over an over, and it is Gaelynn Lea’s Moment of Bliss.
The New Frontier,
The Wild West
Hello dear music friend,
Last weekend I took a trip out west with my new beau. It wasn’t super far west, but a good 9 hours from Minneapolis to Western North Dakota where the landscape changes to plateaus and buttes and miles and grasslands. Majestic beast roam: Bison, Elk, Wild Horse, and Coyote howls. The moon switched to new, and a full day was spent walking to get water from a spring and then walking back to camp. For some people, this is their life …
Good morning, sunshine …
To begin, a quote by Mary Oliver from a stirring article twitter brought to my awareness via Brian Pickings:
“It is six A.M., and I am working. I am absentminded, reckless, heedless of social obligations, etc. It is as it must be. The tire goes flat, the tooth falls out, there will be a hundred meals without mustard. The poem gets written. I have wrestled with the angel and I am stained with light and I have no shame. Neither do I have guilt. My responsibility is not to the ordinary, or the timely. It does not include mustard, or teeth. It does not extend to the lost button, or the beans in the pot. My loyalty is to the inner vision, whenever and howsoever it may arrive. If I have a meeting with you at three o’clock, rejoice if I am late. Rejoice even more if I do not arrive at all.” – Mary Oliver
2017 started in Taos, New Mexico and 2018 started there too. The months in-between were many … mostly midwestern, and very full. The times in Taos, though, have been enchanted beyond measure. Slower. Like honey and sun setting on high desert mesa. It is a true pleasure and a gift to have spent some time here to bookend a wild ass year. And don’t get me wrong – Minnesota makes up my bones. Taos might be some of the electricity in my neurons, though. Seattle is the rivers and canals of my blood.
Rewind to February 2016. It was the week before Valentine’s day. I was still married. I woke up and sat in our cluttered sun room / music room / cocktail corner and decided it was time to document my sexual assault experience in a song. I was assaulted in 2005, in February, in Miami, Florida, by my friend’s boss. It was only a few weeks after i had done a month long Artist in Residence on florida’s gulf coast. i was 25. I was so high on life and so excited to create. And then … I was violated. I kept that experience close to my vest for 11 years until that frozen February morning in Duluth when I wrote about it in a song.
I haven’t been in Taos for two weeks just yet – Tuesday eve it will be so – but time moves slow here – I’ve made it as such. Imposed solitude. Turning down invites to chill with the other artists, to go to a Bob Marley dance party at a gallery, and right now I could be drinking and watching the Superbowl with some passionate intellectuals … but no, I am in my casita … blogging … what a DORK!
A quick update on how I am spending my artist residency – the spiral nature of my time thus far. First – motivation, enthusiasm, excitement spiraled to overwhelm, exhaustion, lethargy and then back around slowly to productivity, awe, creative bliss … Emotions; they are always shifting, changing like clouds in the sky or waves in the sea. The thing is, underneath all of that emotional stormage and weather there’s a clear blue space. And I work with that. I try to work with that.