I thought I knew what busy was before this semester. My time-space continuum has always been up in the sky and often missing some continuity… but dang. I want COVID to be over and for us to be able to come out into the open, around other humans, without the anxiety of “I might die” creeping in the back of our minds. Then I can only look at a screen if I want to, not because I have to and teach in a classroom where my students and I can laugh together.
The world has been in uproar about elections, the environment, racism, bigotry of all kinds, domestic terrorism by right-wing extremists ready to take down the country in their G.I. Joe gear militia nonsense, badass civil rights leaders passing (John Lewis, RBG to name a couple…), and COVID-19. Damn! Guess what!? We are resilient, a hard to kill lot. Ask Mother Earth. LOL *funny, not funny*. Surely, to Her we are worse than roaches, bedbugs and termites combined! Yet, I am of another mind also when it comes to this rollercoaster, rife with ridiculous radical retrogression rigamarole. Part of me believes, in the very moment, that we just ARE. Things just are. We exist and that’s that. This viewpoint is both liberating and beautiful, nihilist and fruitless. Liberating and beautiful because it allows for me to live in the moment and choose to see life as a gift. Nihilist and fruitless because that vision allows me to sink into a hole of despair. Today, I choose liberating and beautiful and quote some advice from Mr. Lipbone Redding. I can recite it to myself in moments of fear and anxiety, “I am exactly where I’m supposed to be.” It is certainly a privileged statement, when I think of families imprisoned in internment camps or nearly perishing in boats escaping war, yet, no matter who you are or what you are experiencing, your perspective is the only thing you have.
Your perspective is your only freedom. Your perspective can save your life and your perspective can kill you. Today, I choose to believe I AM exactly where I am supposed to be – anchoring myself to the moment, with all its imperfections, inherited, unearned privileges, and its beauty. I give thanks for the divine, the souls in this life I’ve encountered, and this life, filled with so many amazing opportunities, every moment, to do better and to choose love over fear or bitterness. Thank you. Thank You. Thank YOU.
I’ve suggested reading the 4 agreements to probably hundreds of people by now. It’s a book that seriously calls out the way our lives can go, however we choose. It’s a life-path to which it is definitely worth subscribing. “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz
On to the news and away from my habitual pontificating! Soon, now that school is almost over, I will be going back into my little homemade recording studio and laying down tracks for this album #SurrenderingToTheSacred ~ I’m also going to be releasing a single that invites you to see the world through the eyes of a graveyard. …a lovely, ghostly vision.
Join me on Tuesday evenings for my 8:30pm livestream on either Facebook or Instagram! I love you!
Dedication: This weeks newsletter is dedicated to Harry Phillips. I am honored to know him. He literally wrote the book on native wildflower propagation. https://uncpress.org/book/9780807841310/growing-and-propagating-wild-flowers/ He is an amazing human: kind, generous, thoughtful, an unparalleled listener and takes the cake for best garden in town, literally all of them. Harry and I have spent much time together of late when, after several months of dealing with pain, he went in for an operation and is now home in recovery. (Details are personal, of course.). I had the honor of spending time with Harry through the process and am the better for it. He is sacred to my community and a dedicated person of service and love. So grateful for you and glad you are now home and healing.
Quote: “Isle of View” – the note my dear, late friend Mary Jane would write on all the gifts she ever gave me. I love you too Mary Jane. The losses of you and Amy have been ever-present in my daily existence, just beneath the surface of keeping it together. My world is certainly not as bright without the two of you. Sending love out there to whatever farthest galaxy of isles you may be upon.
Song: Woman of Heart and Mind – Joni Mitchell – https://youtu.be/4rG8qxouRL4 “I am a woman of heart and mind, with time on her hands, no child to raise… you come to me like a little boy and I give you my scorn and my praise… you think I’m like your mother, or another lover, or your sister, or the queen of your dreams… or just another silly girl, when love makes a fool of me…”. Sometimes when I hear this song, I think of other people. Sometimes, I think of me. This whole album, the live versions of some of these songs… stunning and mezmerizing. Here’s a link to the entire album: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLF_4fzpgIptXrbCem3WkttAEexBVFQ_Lj When I hear Joni Mitchell’s music, I think of my own experience of being a woman.
Dear Humans, I write to you from my bed. The window is open and the cool, night air is flowing in through the window. Pepita the beautiful and soft, muted tortie kitty is laying on my left arm as I type. She is purring, or as my grandfather would say, “She’s got her motor runnin’.”
Tonight, I decided to forego the presidential debate, cause fuck that. I have absolutely no desire to watch those two go at it. I will, however, have a front row seat and a bowl of popcorn at the ready next Tuesday night at 9pm EST to watch Kamala Harris debate with Mike Pence. THAT is going to be an interesting evening because, seriously, when was the last time you heard Pence say a word? Mostly he’s just standing behind Donald, looking smug. I can’t bring myself to listen to either of them, Trump or Biden speak. When I vote, I will be voting for a cabinet of people who hopefully will hopefully bring some heart and compassion back into the White House, it will certainly not be for Biden himself – I really don’t like him and I feel cheated because Bernie would smash this dude. If I seem a bit negative, it’s because I’m pissed, more pissed than before, when Bernie’s chance was stolen by the STATUS QUO-maintaining republicrats (republic rats, lol, that was what spell-check wanted me to put there). In all honesty, I am ready to see the whole thing crash and burn. We need to vision, together, somehow, a place where we can, seriously answer dear Rodney’s plea and ALL GET ALONG. That’s all I have to say about that.
Tonight, I sang to my friends and decided to write this newsletter instead. Last week, I had to support my bestie who lost her dear feline. That’s a tragedy. I know that feeling; it’s the worst, especially if it’s sudden. I’m glad we were together and broke bread in memory of Juno, the cat who turned Maggie into a cat lady. 🙂
I’d been feeling burnt out. However, few weeks ago, I took a rejuvenating trip up to the mountains. We trotted around waterfalls and made bangin’ campfire dinners. This dude is an amazing human and I’m feeling a relaxed sort of love lately. It has put a sweet, calm and cozy sheen on everything that otherwise sucks (insane amounts of work and sitting at a computer, temporal differentiation struggles, and nature deprivation).
Music has taken a back seat. It kind of sucks. I miss it. I felt relief tonight, along with trepidation, when getting back into the swing of my Tuesday online music mini-concert. I like the candle-light, parlor feel of the studio and plan to make some music for the album in there weekly, now that I’ve penciled it into my schedule. Wish me luck.
Wish us all luck. These are Goddamn hard times. Let me tell you though, we are not only going through some tremendous dismantling, destructive, and disorienting times, but we are also making the way for a higher consciousness, immense learning and massive changes, unveiling of what was once hidden. How we handle these – with courage or with strife – will determine the future of our existence on this planet.
Today, I may seem down, but that’s not a constant – I choose LIFE. I choose joy. I choose you.
Upcoming Shows: Tuesdays on Instagram or Facebook, live at 8:30. OCt 7th will be a special 30 minute show so I can tune into the Vice Prez debates. Get’cherr popcorn maw, we are gonna have us a brawl.
TuesDayNewsDay Vol 2, Issue 12 ~ September 15, 2020
Dedication: today’s Tuesday Newsday is dedicated to Jonathan Byrd. Back in 2002, I worked for a man named Gary. Gary lost someone dear to him and I accompanied him to the funeral. I didn’t know who Jonathan Byrd was at that time, however upon hearing him sing at this funeral, I knew he was very special. I don’t actually remember who it was that it passed, but I remember hearing Jonathan sing. Maybe that’s messed up of me, maybe it’s just my normal human brain… more attuned to music.
Here and now, sitting up on the banks of the Haw River, many years later, I have the privilege and opportunity to share my music with Jonathan Byrd and his amazing audience tomorrow night. Only a few people know of my goals, because I don’t share them often, but one of my goals for this year was to sing for Jonathan Byrd‘s weekly residency, The Shake Sugaree Jonathan Byrd and the Pickup Cowboys show hosted by The Kraken, our local dive bar. I actually wrote it down on a piece of paper with my other goals… A few of months ago, I ran into Jonathan while waiting to perform for the John Prine tribute. Due to Covid, it’s kind of not cool to hug people, but later I expressed to him and several others that I wish I could’ve given out hugs. That was the first time I had been around a whole bunch of people for several weeks. Jonathan said that he wished he would’ve been able to hear me sing, and without a beat, I said, “well maybe I could sing for your show one day…” thinking way into the future, maybe on the ground, in real life, post Covid. After a few agonizing minutes of waiting for his response via Facebook messenger, he responded, “Can you do July 25?”. I was flabbergasted because I half expected him to say no. No, you don’t have an album and I really don’t want to host someone who can’t have something to showcase… No you can’t perform, for some other piddly reason my mind made up for me… But he said yes and I am so excited.
In my excitement, I reached out to my friend Spencer who is also one of the videographers for Jonathan‘s weekly show. I love Spencer and he also said yes to play those videos with me. What a treat!? Spencer is an amazing songwriter. His voice is captivating and his musical talents soar out of this world.
So tomorrow night, at 7 o’clock when the show begins, join me on Facebook as I will be starting a watch party for people to watch it with me. There will be two videos of my own songs in between the many amazing sets of Jonathan Byrd and the Pickup Cowboys’ music. I’m stoked and honored. One of the songs is a product of Jonathan’s song writing workshop. I recommend it to anyone who likes to write songs!
Quote: “Jump, and the lily pad will appear.” This quote was on a friend’s mom’s fridge and it’s etched into my memory. Perhaps that is what I did when I asked Jonathan to sing for his show…
Thank you so much for supporting me during this musical journey. I don’t have much to say this evening, I have been teaching and organizing and protesting for the last several months. We have much work to do in this world to make it a better place, I know I am doing my small part. I hope you enjoy the show tomorrow! Thank you Jonathan for having me, I look forward to enjoying your music and reminiscing about the past in hopes of a future that includes dancing at the Kraken.
Dedication: The Migrant Farmers, The Gardeners, The Land Cultivators – Those who feed us all. We must remember from where our food and sustenance come, for we are nothing without the land – we exist on stolen soil and call it private property with arbitrary borders bound to arbitrary power – we can start acknowledging from there and create a discourse together, from now on.
This is also dedicated to my best friend Maggie and my dear friend Harry who feeds our community and themselves and are exemplary humans I am honored to know and call friends.
Quote: “Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable.” Mary Oliver and subsequently, “When large slices of the demos feel as if their voice is not being heard, they feel helpless, impotent and turn on themselves and turn on each other… Every generation is wrestling what it means to be human and how one takes democracy seriously, and has to accent the underside of their present moment, in light of the past, to ensure that the future can be a little bit better, maybe even qualitatively better than the present.” Dr. Cornel West
Dear Humans: Today is Tuesday and I have felt like a flapping fish out of water (forgot to take my medicine… Captain Distracto… Passionate Multi-Tasker… Obsessive Student… Crazed Teacher… Mad Artist! I am teaching, was accepted into a graduate level 5-week intensive class “Teaching for Black Lives”, standing daily on the street corner with my sign, highlighting police brutality with my neighbors, falling in love with myself and my Spiritual path, doing some yoga, making friends with dedication, making art, reading tarot cards, making matchbooks and frequenting the post office. I have amazing news. On Wednesday, the 29th, I’ll be performing 2 of my songs as the virtual half-time guest of Jonathan Byrd and the Shake Sugaree Global Pandemic Live Stream. I cannot even begin to describe what an honor this is. I’ve been listening to Jonathan Byrd since I was 23… I’m 37… that’s a long time!
Love to everyone, I’d wax poetic here about everything into which I’ve been diving, but I’ll spare you and share another quote of Dr. Cornel West, “Democracy is like the art form of jazz: You better find your voice, accent your individuality in community so you can contribute to the high quality of the collective performance. Find your voice! Each citizen: dig deep into the precincts of your soul and examine the suburbs of your voice and find your voice and get it out, not just your self-interest but your voice that balances enlightened self-interest and public interest and the public good. (We aren’t just talking about votes in Florida..).” 2014, Dr. Cornel West speaks at University of Washington
This week in pictures:
Upcoming shows: Every Tuesday at 8:30 – live on Instagram and Facebook! ❤
…the day I decided to marry my Spirituality. What a charm!
Dedication: I dedicate this TuesDay NewsDay to Athene, Goddess of Justice. I intend to honor her in shining my light. There is no reason for me to hide it. I have been too concerned with worrying about others’ thoughts and less about how I show up in this world. No longer!! Athene carries upon her shoulder a white owl reflecting her clarity of vision – it can see and hunt in the dark. She was born from Zeus’ head after he tried to prevent her birth by eating her mother, Metis, Goddess of Wisdom. Can’t keep THIS one from shining her light. Nope. Her convictions are birthed from pursuit of truth and the recognition that there must be a battle to uphold truth with logic, diplomacy and creativity. Her weapons as gifts to the likes of Odysseus and Perseus always had to be used with intelligence, foresight and planning. She was chaste. She valued service over personal desire and put principles over passions – the mind has the ability to make choices upon reflection, mastering instincts. Athene blessed and “rendered valuable service to mankind. She taught the art of taming horses, and fostered skills and crafts such as weaving and embroidery. Her activities were concerned not only with useful work, but with artistic creation as well.” She nurtured warriors who protected peace. (Quoted and paraphrased from the Tarot card Justice of the Mythic Tarot, by Juliet Sharman-Burke and Liz Green) I pulled this card today in a “present-time” spread which threw my jaw to the ground and kept it there the whole time.
Song: Cakewalk – by Taj Mahal – (One of my favorite songs of all time and reflects how good I feel today. ❤ “Throw your big leg over me mama, I might not feel this good again…” (But I will. Promise)
Dear Humans: Wow. What an insane time to be alive! What a blessing to see all the ruckus going on in this world – the bravery and passion of people standing up in the streets against police brutality and racism. Bigotry of all kinds! Your time is up! Your number has been disconnected! Your mother has just arrived at the party and you’re being pulled out by your ears while drunk on the power you thought you had, but you don’t. Not anymore! It was an illusion! Of course, I know it won’t go down without a fight. The fight is coming. I feel privileged to be part of it.
I feel grateful to be a teacher in these times. I feel honored and blessed to have a voice, a platform, and musical and artful proclivities. Thank you to all of you out there who have gifted me with your love and support (financial and the gifts of your time) through all this. Musicians the world over are having to get creative, even more-so than before, to make ends meet. I’m so glad to have my teaching job (though teachers make pennies compared to the work they do).
This week, as mentioned before, is the beginning of my 30-day yoga challenge. Today is day 5. After I finish writing this, I will be doing my next video. (Yoga By Adriene – look her up on youtube. You’re welcome) I’m so proud of myself. That is not something I have said very much… reflecting on my life. I am exercising healthy boundaries, discerning what feels good and doesn’t, and exploring how to ease into things that feel difficult at first.
Have you ever challenged yourself to do something you’ve felt guilty for NOT doing for years? This time, I wrote down my dedication (see two blog posts back if you want to read it). I deduced WHY this objective and goal is important. In order to show up as the passionate and compassionate singing teacher warrior I know I can be, I have to make sure the vessel in which I occupy is healthy. I have to make sure my Spirit is healthy. I have to re-parent the little kid inside me who is afraid of failing, who is angry at injustice cause she knows how that feels, and who wants to play and make art all the time (she never got to really play and was always older than she should’ve been growing up). Right now, for the first time, there is beginning to be integration between my body, mind, and Spirit. Holy cow. The Tarot spread I had today basically described my current situation to a T. Here’s the story I read from those cards:
I amthe young adventurer on a mission with a vision (2 of Wands). The vision is the King of Wands who has mastered the power to manifest vision with creative imagination. I am supported by Athene (Justice card) and need to devote to her my honor – she is the Spirit embodying my self-knowledge. Her chastity gives birth to artistic creativity in service to the greater good and fostering peace with ethical implementation. I know who I am and have the potential to be through her wisdom and devotion to truth and justice. This vision is possibly blocked by choices of the flesh and perceived worldly power over my Spirit. (Lovers card – reversed). I am making choices in real life – at this moment I am choosing Lady Justice – my values are being tested. I have a choice between love or a sacred, creative activity at this time. I believe Love IS my sacred, creative activity now. Every time I make art, seek out truth and teach my students how, and when I work for justice, I am praying a literal prayer of activism and devotion. At this time, I must look carefully at the implications of my choices in the past. Heartache, physical pain and ill heath are old love. Creative Spirit is new love.
I must waitin my romantic relationshiprealm (The Hanged Man) and make the voluntary sacrifice for my own best interest (to see through to the achievement of this vision). After the Wheel of Fortune’s challenge of fate, I must use the lesson of the Hanged Man, understanding and willingness to put trust in the Unseen – knowing there will be anxieties yet, also knowing it will all be okay. I must marry my Spirit (10 of Cups). This decision augers ongoing emotional contentment and permanence in the realm of the heart. Psyche marries Eros; gives this creature wings to fly. I will withstand any challenge offered by Life. I no longer need to hide my Love. I can let my love light shine. Take heed, (7 of Pentacles reversed) I am making a choice. I can either reject something Divinely inspired or choose security and safety and risk mundane perpetuity. This decision comes to every person who attempts to manifest creative energy. Also take heed, (9 of Cups – reversed) REMEMBER that everything has been done up to now in loyalty to your inner feeling values. This moment is fulfillment of your wish – self-validation, from your commitment to your inner-development. Do not forget how far you have come. This is a reward for your efforts. You may find yourself underwater, but remember and be grateful, you can still breathe, magically, and despite the odds.
At the heart of my journey lies my biggest inner strengths, resilience and positivity through chosen, constructive nostalgia. (6 of Cups) Through turmoil, I have the capability to be at peace with myself. I am cultivating that power at this very moment. From hardship, there are positive, good memories for which to be grateful and from them I gain knowledge of myself. There is stillness and serenity in the lessons of the past and I choose that serenity and stillness, that solemn honoring which sprouts from life’s disappointments and pain. From those experiences, I have the capabilities to move on with resolve and reflection.
Believe in your vision enough to try, these messages say clearly. Firmly grip the fire of imagination and go forth with the hands of Spirit and Love at your back and the temple of Justice upholding you from below.
This week in pictures:
Upcoming gigs: Next Tuesday! 8:30 Livestream on Insta and Facebook (my FB anitalorrainemusic page)