It’s one more day before we leave on a tour. At this moment I am sitting up in bed with my tea and I can see Aryeh standing on the porch with his coffee cup. He is taking in the sun and the orchestra of birds. He looks content. I know it’s a fleeting moment not only because he is often shouldering the worries of the world, but because there is much to do still. I have a long to-do list most days, and the week before a tour it's even longer.
We love to be touring of course, so grateful for the opportunity and this life of music. Every single concert and connection with friends and music lovers is truly sublime. But sometimes I worry that folks think our life is much easier and more magical than it is. That’s the rub of social media where you are eager to share a lovely moment because it makes you smile, but it gives the impression that lovely moments are all you have and that there are fairies conducting our days. Believe me, there are all kinds of other moments too.
We don’t post images or make newsletters about the countless hours and months of endless computer work we both do to put a tour together. The gear maintenance and CD boxes, the rehearsals where we don't always agree, the scrubbing, vacuuming, and preparing the big dusty house for the house sitters. The messy tour van, the gas stations, burrito wrappers and dodgy rest areas. The heavy loads of gear back and forth through parking lots and the pack up, load out and hours of driving to the next place to repeat, often without enough sleep.
But those are all there too. All this is to say that we all have lives that are full of both beauty and challenges, highs and lows, and mostly in between. Each one of us plays an important role in the fabric of life. We could not do what we do if it wasn't for the listeners and the folks who go to shows. Every seat holds a person with a life and a heritage that itself could be a great novel. With skills and gifts unseen in our brief interaction. But we know you are there and it means the world.
We who share beautiful views and cute cats and exciting events on Facebook are no exception to those highs and lows. So whenever you are admiring someone's life or wishing you had this or that, just remember that everyone has their “behind the scenes” and no life is without its challenges and grumpy days and unglamorous work that makes it happen. Especially those movie stars, oh boy, they probably have the most crazy going on and are annoyed much of their time.
These are all first-world challenges and most of us barely have an inkling of how hard life is in so much of the globe we share. I only want to impress that the real goal is simply a balance, and appreciating the balance. I watch and read too much news, I have a constant ache for the scary stuff going on every day, I feel the pain for those who lost in hopes it will matter in the universe that people care and cry along.
In the meantime, we try to make some lighter moments for those who love music and offer a bit of respite and fun, because we can. We all do it in our own way.
This was meant to be a short greeting because I have to get up and get going on this massive list. (Refrigerator next woohoo!) but also because I just wrote two articles and I’m tapped out of thinking or writing, especially about myself. The first article was an artist spotlight in the main Folk harp retailer newsletter for Sylvia Woods Harp Center. So I had to go down memory lane for my career, and oh boy, even squeezed into 900 words it was quite a long road to be here and I got tired just thinking about it. I have been told a lot I should write it in a book, maybe someday I will, and it will be a funny book. But you can read the short version here. (Aryeh will be featured next month). The other article comes out next month for the Portland Folk Society about how we as musicians made the most of the pandemic time, it comes out for the July/August issue h in their "Local Lore" paper here.
So I bid you adieu for now. Here’s what’s happening this summer, I hope we can cross paths one way or another. There is lots of musical merriment in the cue, and as always I shared some photos of life (because the moment made me smile) and our famous cat Nigel (he IS the true magical one)
I’m always delighted when you say hello back. I love to know that folks are out there and how it's going for you or if you have a question. I try to answer each one.
Thank you again for being with me through these years and I wish you the best of balance and magic and occasional fairies conducting it all.
Sincerely, and yours,