Archive: July 11, 2012
My belongings sit like stratum across the floor where I have been sleeping these last 3 months in Portland, OR. One kelly green dress shoe lays overturned, revealing one of my plastic surgical arch supports that I have worn in every pair of shoes every day for the last 21 years of my life. I am presently sucking on a slippery elm lozenge to keep from coughing. This is a feeble attempt to protect my voice from a cold that has come and gone and come again, maybe turned into pneumonia, and is now being eradicated by antibiotics. I am tired. Maybe even exhausted. Today has been hard and beautiful. The rough waters of the day have been stilled and there is a cool breeze blowing over the water as I sit at the helm of the ship and marvel at the stars and that beautiful moon hovering to the east.
My day started with calling the unemployment office in Nashville relentlessly. In theory alone I have been approved for unemployment insurance these last 3 weeks and have yet to see any benefits. I think it’s my being in Portland that’s messing it up. But this morning I was down to my last $20 and tired from being up all night coughing. In vain I have searched for a job and continue to. And what was my awesome Event Planning and Booking job for a restaurant in Sellwood quickly fizzled into ashes. Perhaps the restaurant only hired me to make themselves more sellable on the market. I have no idea. But 4 weeks later (and having turned down at least 2 other opportunities for a day job because it conflicted with the restaurant’s schedule) I find myself jobless in one of the worst job markets in the United States, and I am on the phone trying to get through to an unemployment office that claims to be too busy to put me in a waiting queue one the phone. This is one of those moments when one wishes they could just walk in off the street but logistics make this impossible. So, I will find myself waking up in a few hours to see if I can catch the Unemployment Office by phone again before things get busy in there.
However, I don’t regret moving to Portland. Not even for a second. I am in love with this city. Every time I go outside the hills, the volcanoes, scent of a doug fir catches me just right. I feel connected even though I am aware that in some ways I am still isolated. I know that I am not alone in my struggle within this city. I know that I am bound together with other people who feel about Portland what I feel, and even more! I still can not wait to find a place to live, get a job, and plant deep roots, at least for a time. But it strikes me as interesting that this city is forcing me to press into the business side of my art again. I think I can make music my full time job pretty easily here, or should I say, more easily and with less discouragement than in Nashville. And I have been broke before. This is not new.
The end of this story is that I have a very community of people who love me and are supporting me emotionally, in solidarity, in friendship, and in community in this time. I did not ask anyone for money today. But twice dear friends of mine donated enough to get me through this week and I am so grateful for them. I especially have to thank my church in Nashville who have shown me more kindness than I can express over these last 6 months. I have not known support like this before. I also have to thank the Maes, who have been letting me sleep in their home and drink their water. I have learned a new level of what it is to be charitable and have a charitable heart because of these people. I have been the beneficiary of people giving who have nothing to give and find some way to make it happen anyhow. And this above all things reminds me that I am exactly where I am supposed to be. I am even booked into April already for shows! That would have been normal for me 5 years ago. But it’s wonderful to see that things are falling into place professionally again.
So what’s in the future? The album is still in the works. I start Febrauray Album Writer’s Month again soon. I am planning on having a new acoustic e.p. out for your to purchase on this next tour coming up (did I mention I’m going to be on tour in March? If you want to book a southwest, midwest, southern, Northwest, or west coast tour date please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org ). And I’m even thinking about snaking my way into SxSw. We shall see. The album will be out by July. At the very latest. And though I have had the title chosen for the last 6 years I won’t reveal it until we’ve got the album artwork finished. But I am soooo looking forward to it.
And in Portland I am playing the Hawthorne Theatre on the 21st of this month (January). So you should come out if you can
Thank you everyone for your support. There are still about 4 copies of the Without A Sound e.p. if you want to get one here. Once they’re out of print they are all the way out of print. Never to be heard from again. New t-shirt designs are coming soon also. And as I find a place to settle in there will be more for you to purchase than perhaps you could ever imagine. 🙂
Thank you everyone for your continued support and prayers. I think this year might end up being pretty amazing. And full.
And perhaps, just a very little, messy as well.