March 29, 2012

I think I've forgotten how to be thankful. As the days press upon me and I stagger from one task to the next, I have forgotten how to laugh, how to express gratitude, how to let joy pour forth from the wellspring in my heart. There are a hundred reasons to bow my head this night and give thanks. A hundred reasons to whisper to my children, when their tempers flare and they struggle to find kind words. In times like these, when life feels lean, it's the fullness of gratitude that is missing from my being, as I clasp my hands tightly around what I believe is mine to hold close. But when I let go of my clenched fists, I find they are empty, I find that what I counted as mine simply sifted away. So turning palms up, opening my hands, looking for goodness, I open my hands to receive love from my Maker, which reminds me of the hundred things I can give thanks for. Today, let me be a mama who pauses to give thanks for her sweet babies, growing up too fast. Let me be a wife who is grateful for a good man to call husband. Let me be a woman who is known as wise teacher, patient leader, loving friend. Let me be a poet who speaks words of thanksgiving for the goodness of story and song. And mostly, with each breath I take, let me pour out gratitude for all the rich treasures in my life. I long to cultivate a heart of joy and thankfulness, so that every momebt I live as if I really mean it, with gratitude for the hundred gifts, that I can name in a single breath. Gifts that are only the beginning of a list, stretching to forever, that I will continue my whole life through.

March 5, 2012
Shining Brilliance

On Saturday night, I played a show in Portland. It was a packed house, in a really fun venue. It was such a special night. I don't know why this past weekend was different from other nights I've played at this particular venue. Maybe it was becuase I had a different group of musicians playing with me than I have before: an acoustic bassist, my buddy Douglas on vocals and lead guitar, and my husband playing percussion. We've been playing together a lot, and we ahve this nice sound that is very mellow and really tight. Afterward, everyone kept commenting about how well they could understand the words I was singing. It was magical to feel so appreciated, a really amazing night for me. I was on such a high afterwards, after feeling so well loved by so many people, and getting to share some new songs (and a whole bunch of old ones). One of the sweetest moments of the evening was looking out and seeing a bunch of young kids singing along to my lyrics, to the songs I wrote. I felt like some kind of famous person for a few hours, except I was really just me. I love my life at home, as a parent and teacher, but today everything pales a little in comparison to the shining brilliance of playing music to a packed house on Saturday night. And I suppose that's how it should be.

December 8, 2010
Almost Done

The new album is almost done. Honest. I've had friends and fans asking after it for months now. We have an appointment in the mastering studio on December 21, and after that, we'll send the album to be replicated. In early February (or maybe earlier), 1000 cds will show up on my doorstep. And that will be that.

Can't wait to FINALLY share this project with all of you!

October 1, 2010

I'm sitting here in the studio this afternoon, working on EQing one of the songs on my album, and it just dawned on me that one of the markings of a good musician is not only understanding one's flaws and limitations, but being okay with them. When you record your voice into a microphone and then play it back, every wonderful overtone comes through and so does every single flaw. Every pitch problem, every challenge with articulation, every phrasing mistake, comes through clear as day. And not only do I hear the flaws in my voice, so do the two other people working on this mixing process with me. In our culture, we spend a lot of time making excuses for our limitations. In our culture, we're obsessed with perfection. This is no surprised to anyo f us. I just read an article on the Japanese notion of wabi sabi. Translated, it means a view of the aesthetic where beauty is imperfect, impermanent and incomplete. In short, it's finding beauty in things that are flawed. Things like my voice and my guitar. Things like ME. Let's have a party to celebrate our flaws. Let's dance and sing and chant, imperfection is glory, imperfection is right, imperfection is beautiful. When this CD is finished and you unwrap your copy and put it in your CD player, I hope you'll hear some lovely music, well written and performed. But I also hope you hear the flaws and adopt wabi sabi so that together we can celebrate just how perfectly imperfect this music is.