Archive: January 21, 2011
It’s 4 a.m. sharp. All that moves about my house at present are the ghosts of my own mind and the flickering glow of candles on my seemingly white walls. There is a thin layer of new snow on the ground. Snow that I went sledding down at the state capitol with my friends Kelly, David, and Justin tonight. I was writing before I left and I came home to write as well. My dog, Daisy excited to see that I had come home.
I realized as I thought about placing an entry down in this glowing screen that I had not only not written in far too long, but also had not bothered to write a tour diary. Much to my chagrin I could not even begin to capture the days of the last tour almost a month away from them. But I can tell you, they made me miss California and the west coast in general immensely. I threw myself wholly into California when I arrived. So happy to feel at home again. So happy to be around people who love music and have a healthy view of supporting each other in art. I have that here to be sure. But it is different. And it is heavily tempered with the knowledge that we are providing something to each other in leu of the immense poverty of it in naturally appearing in our environments. Rather, we supply it our of our own hunger for it… I don’t know how else to describe this phenomenon.
The drive back from California was wonderful and full of imaginations and new music, good friends, and both good and bad wine. I felt celebrated for being me and I celebrated my friends for being them and had a wonderful time. There was even a snow laden drive through New Mexico, Jonsi blasting on the stereo and me imagining the snowflakes transforming into tiny horses as they hit my windshield. They galloped up my windshield and over my car only to joyfully jump off and spin back into the snow driven background. It was pretty amazing. Solitude and lack of sleep will inspire some pretty amazing things.
Driving is, and always has been, one of my favorite things in the world. I love the way the world looks as one passes it by, and even more I love driving through New Mexico under the night stars. My headlights creating a limited and totally isolated view of the world around me. I can’t get enough of that time. (Keeping in mind that I have certainly had too much of it in the past. I.E. A crazy drive from Fargo to Portland – a 23 hour drive – that I had to make in 26 hours. That was enough to get me to take an extended break from touring.)
It was wonderful. My time with my cherished and long-term friends was wonderful. Almost everyone I interacted with I have known longer than 10 years and have a beautiful story with. I felt known, accepted, loved, celebrated, and understood. And as a result, I knew myself better.
I have struggled in returning to Nashville to find a place of peace. It’s been as inconstant as the snow that has waxed and waned over the ground since I’ve returned. But I keep trying to refocus so that the peace returns and I can be myself, able to bless the people around me, continuing to try to understand what I am doing with my art here.
I often feel transplanted into the wrong body in Nashville. There are parts of it that are so right. Parts of my community that I feel like I can’t do without. Parts where I find myself more completely than perhaps I ever have. But there is also such an intense discord. Like I, or we, are classical strings tied onto an electric guitar. I know I am not the only one who feels this way.
And so I, once again, find myself surveying the land and trying to find my place in this city. For however long I am to be here. I continue to pray for reconciliation and forgiveness in a lot of my relationships and I hope that those will be allowed to happen before it is time to leave. But I do feel like my last chapters here are being written. I have no idea how long it will take to finish them, I could even be totally wrong… but I get the sense that this book of Nashville is drawing to some sort of transition. I would not live here unless I felt called to be here. And I certainly don’t want to live with one foot out of a city that I feel called to for the time. But I don’t know. Something is happening… I could be mis-translating it. But something is happening.
In all of this… I ponder many things… my need for solitude, my desire for community, my deep friendships, my singleness, my wholeness, my brokeness, my need for adventure, my shipwrecks, my desire to grow, my journey to get there… my need to think more externally rather than internally – one can only navel gaze for so long, let’s be honest. I have found part of my identity in this city and in my community. I had no idea that this was what I was coming to when I moved here. But it has been so rich, full, abundant, good, and incredibly hard that I wonder what comes next.
I only know what I do know tangibly. I am moving into a new home in Nashville in March. So I am not leaving right away. I am still in the process of working on the new record. And I am going on tour in the Northwest in March. Almost all the dates are booked. I’m just waiting to hear from a couple of people but it’s shaping up to be a busy 8 days. 🙂 I might even play SXSW if we can get our ducks in the right row in time 🙂
And that’s that I guess. For now.