Staring At Everest

Archive:  November 14, 2010
A Quick Reminder Before I Begin:  I am playing at around 10:30 at the 5 Spot tomorrow (Sunday).  Admission is $5.  I’ll be with the band (Tim Denbo on bass, Megan Morrisson on pedal steel, Andrew Collins on guitar, me on guitar, and Jacob Briggs on drums).  Come out.  It would be lovely to have you there.  21 and over.


At present I am listening to a new song I wrote tonight tentatively titled, I Know I’ve Been.  It was written after hanging out with Eli Thomson from Everest tonight.  I got a pleasant email from him this week telling me that he remembered that I lived in Nashville and would love it if I could come out and see Everest tonight.  I was really excited.  I haven’t seen Eli in 5 years.  It’s been since May 19, 2005 actually.  The day that I released La Rosa, La Calavera and Richard Swift came up to open the show up for us.  He played on both of my Velvet Blue Music releases and is an all around wonderful person, so humble, so kind and thoughtful.  It was really nice to reconnect tonight and it made me feel a reconnection to my past that I really needed.

As a result of seeing them (they were wonderful by the way – one of the best shows I’ve seen in a long time and super fun.  I’d forgotten how much I enjoy watching Eli play bass.)  I realized that I’ve been approaching music in a very “safe” manner.  Not taking any risks and making sure the coast is clear before I move forward.  I don’t know what it is that inspired this revelation exactly.  Maybe my heart was just open to it?

But I looked at myself and all the super safe choices I’ve been making about my entire life lately and especially music because we have to say that it’s the thing I feel is most fragile right now and also the thing I care about almost more than anything and I saw my life as it was.  Really really unsafe.  I moved to Nashville and my father died less than 2 months later.  Over the last 4 years I’ve been trying to manage a series of events traumatic and came to this year realizing I just needed to let go.  To let Hope take control.  To take my fingers off my life and let someone greater take over.  Even when a flood hit my home and displaced me for 30 days and displaced some of my instruments for maybe their lifetime.  Even when things have been completely nuts.  I have essentially been learning to trust again.

I’ve been working on this re-birth all year.  Growing as a person, growing in my understanding of my gifts, growing in my artistic vision, taking baby steps out to be in front of people.  But I haven’t taken any real risks artistically.  And why?  Because life for the last 4 years was one uncontrollable saga after another.  The world around me hasn’t been safe and so the artist in me hasn’t felt safe at all.

This brings up a lot of different questions for me… an endless amount of philosophical pondering that overwhelm me just as I look at their names.   “What’s the difference between pursuing something out of calling and trying to make it happen yourself?”  “Am I actually SUPPOSED to be a musician and songwriter just because I have a bug that won’t let up it’s grip?”  “Is the fact that I have suffered for my art and continue to cling to it a sign of insanity or is it itself proof of a “calling”?  But I can’t not sing.  I love it so much.  It’s my favorite gift.

There is so much more that spills from this fountain.  I could literally list fear and questions that plague me all day long.  But wouldn’t that just be reinforcing the fear?  My desire is to live in hope and to live extravagantly.  Without conventional social ties binding me to a house or a lifestyle.  But for music to be possible.  Art to be revealed in everything I do.

And I want to start writing fiction again.  My life has been a blur of non-fiction and cataloguing a year of extreme growth.

I have no doubts that next year will be a year of huge changes in my life.  I can see some of them already.  I just have hope that in these plans will be the release of a new album and a lot of traveling to support music.  I have my hunches that there may be a lot of traveling involved next year and into 2012.

Living extravagantly in hope without the last 4 1/2 years having a strong pull to stagnancy.  Growing in the art and the skill by which that art is performed and growing as a writer and a performer.  All these are my hopes for next year.

Not to mention all the other ways I believe I will grow 🙂  It’s going to be a busy year.