“My mind seemed to become feebler as my feelings grew more intense” – Hector Berlioz
Feelings are a strange thing to an artist, oh those of oft-pained hearts. Feelings are your constant companion and muse, your ally and tormentor. Feelings, feelings, and more feelings well up and flood out of you, and with them comes your art—your words, your songs, your creation. Your catalog of experiences, your catalog of hurts.
Sometimes your hurt is an overwhelming assault or a nagging ache. A thorn in your bare foot, a break in your bone. You pick it up, hold it in your hands, study every nuance. Sometime it is a heavy fog that swallows you whole. It is so big that you can’t even comprehend it, you can’t make any sense of it at all. It’s a jumbled expanse of a painted canvas you are standing with your nose up against. You can’t see the impressionistic rendering of water and the setting sun: you see swirls of cold blue and slashes of searing red. You see your despair, you see your anger. You do not see what it means or what it is for, and though you want to you simply can’t. You’re too close. It’s too big. It’s too raw. It’s all around you, overwhelming you with input that your mind can’t sort.
But when those feelings don’t come out on their own, when we are standing in front of the jumbled expanse of our own grief, we are lucky to have others around us who have stood in that same place. Each day in their grief they took a step back, and each day their hurt became more clear. And then they started to talk about it. To write about it. To sing about it. To create about it. To catalog their hurt, so that they could heal.
Then they gave it away, so we could heal too.
My friend Garett Potter is a giver of words that heal, and this is his poem.
A boat for my heart
I built a boat for my heart,
and tried to send it to myself in the mail,
but the post office closed
when the storms came
and I had to carry it in my palms—
God built a boat for my heart,
entrusted men to bring it to me,
in due time,
but the men got all the directions mixed up and varied–
confused assembly, confusing themselves;
I only got pieces
that might make a boat,
that might be from God,
but might not.
I built a boat for your heart,
but you kept it inside,
wouldn’t come let it out, at the dock,
so I rowed it alone,
carrying nothing but my solitude,
me and the oars, o’er and o’er.
My heart built a boat for itself
out of all the charred remains,
found them strewn about my sensory memory,
plucked them out from its sides and feet
and put them together to make new moments.
In the new moments,
my heart remembers how it never was but ought to have been.
It is a beautiful heart-boat
floating, sailing on the seas.
The wave-waters shimmer,
the moon is out,
it is rocking me to sleep.
Find more Garett HERE.
Just wanted to keep you up-to-date on the new album, Skeleton Bones, that will be released SOON. Unfortunately, my super talented producer Dallas Kruse came down with Mono (in other news, every girl who wants to lose 10 pound now hates him), so we’re having to play it by ear and make sure he takes care of himself and gets healthy!
We’re about 80% done with the album, and you can listen to some of the tracks we’re working on by checking out the Kickstarter page.
Thanks for all your love and support!
Relationships are hard. Especially because Men are from Mars and Women Hate When Martians Leave the Toilet Seat up.
Plus, there are other things, which professionals can explain better than me (obviously).
Dr. Emerson Eggerichs and his daughter Joy are part of an amazing team at Love and Respect (and Love and Respect: Now) with a calling to lead men and women (married, dating, and single) to seek wisdom about relationships and how God calls us to love. They’re hosting a wonderful video event on just this subject, and I am honored to be a part of it.
If you’re in the Portland area and within the ages of 18-35, you can be a part of it too!
About a month ago I had the pleasure of touring with my friends The Ultimate Bearhug. This tour involved lots of porch singing, food eating, backyard concerting, wine drinking, and all around tally-ho-ing. Doll and I rode bikes around the city of Portland (eating ice cream and basking in the sun-soaked river) and Boo slept in the coolness of my basement and watched Frida on the often ignored TV in my living room. Fun was had by all.
Probably one of the coolest things we got to do was be a part of The Melodic Caring Project, a non-profit that streams concerts to hospitalized kids/teens and whose tagline “Love. Music. Healing” pretty much says it all. Thanks to TMCP and the uber-hot Watt sisters of Seattle Living Room shows, Doll, Boo, and our friend Josh Hoke were able to sing our songs for Tanika in her hospital room in Portland, Oregon. It was a really remarkable night and I’m so honored to have been a part of it.
The lovely Keegan Prosser posted a super kind review of the evening, and here’s a little video of a song I did that evening!
Sorry for my cyber-absence, I’ve been splitting my time between California (working on the album like mad and eating cookie butter with Dallas Kruse) and Portland (getting settled into my life in the Northwest and eating tots with hipster folk).
Life is good. I enjoyed my season in Costa Rica with Pura Vida Adventures but now I am excited to be back to music full time, writing new songs and singing them for happy folk.
My friends The Ultimate Bearhug are coming from California to play the Northwest with me! They are super rad, cute, fun, and (doi) TALENTED so if you’re in the Northwest area you should check out one of the following shows!
Thursday, July 26th
@ Mississippi Pizza Pub: 3552 N Mississippi Ave.,
$5, 9 pm.
Friday, July 27th
$5 cover, 8 pm.
email firstname.lastname@example.org for location
Saturday July 28th, 2012
Seattle Living Room show with The Ultimate Bearhug
and special guest Josh Hoke
Check out http://www.seattlelivingroomshows.com for info and tickets
Also, here’s a little video to give you a taste and tug at your heart strings:
I’ve already talked about my friend Justin Zoradi on this blog: about the work he does with These Numbers Have Faces, about how hot is wife is, about how we met at an after-school program in Portland where he was wearing ironic hipster t-shirts and I was hitting children in the face with soccer balls (accidentally, of course).
A lot’s changed from those days when we were young and fancy-free, eating horrible cafeteria lunches and playing games with disgruntled youth. I’ve moved on to pursuing music full-time, and Justin’s work at TNHF has turned into a full-blown, vibrant, and growing MOVEMENT, one that is providing education for South African youth and empowering them to change the future of their country in a most wonderful way.
Just like I said in my last post on JZ: I really can’t say enough good things about him, about his passion to help South Africa and about the wise, humble, effective way he is running a sustainable non-profit that is actually SEEING tangible evidence of it’s work.
And now, if that isn’t enough, he’s got a BLOG to inspire and encourage us. Check it out!
With all the non-profit drama going on lately, I’ve been thinking lots about Justin and the work he does to see and respond to the needs of people, to look beyond the numbers that can be so staggering. I know JZ would never feed into the gossip of “fallen heroes” or waste his time tearing down the attempts of people trying to make the world better. I’m sure he’d merely remember what he already knows, ignore the chatter, and continue to work slowly and steadily for the South Africa, and the people there, that he loves.
Let’s join him!
You know those people who are awesome and great and want to do “crazy” things like fight injustice and bring healing/light to the wounded/dark places in the world? Bob Goff is one of those people.
I have the honor of being a part of a benefit show for his non-profit “Restore International” which in this instance is raising funds to build a school in Uganda for children who have been the victims of civil war, HIV, and child slavery. Every child should have a place to learn and grow, and we have the opportunity to directly encourage that truth.
So come on Portlanders, let’s do this thing! And if you can’t make it, you can still donate and buy a textbook for a child HERE
Awhile back I was doing this thing called “Cover Song Sunday” where I tried to release a new video of a cover song every Sunday. Sadly, life got really busy (read: I got sucked into the Hunger Games) and haven’t posted in many moons.
But fear not, my friends! I love to sing for you all, even when “merely” through the means of the wonderful world wide web, and I’m gonna try this thing again! This kick-off week includes special guest Hannah Glavor, whose wonderful and lovely and beautiful and magical CD is now available on BANDCAMP
When I was a kid my cousin Dougie was one of my favorite relatives, due largely to the fact that he is fun, hilarious, gives great hugs, and, let’s face it, made me realize that long, gangly arms and legs are COOL.
Thankfully I have grown into my own lanky appendages, but Dougie has done even more: creating a career for himself as a versatile actor who is one of Hollywood’s most appreciated and lauded mimic-ers, oftentimes wearing pounds of makeup and still delivering performances with subtle nuance and finesse.
You might have seen him as the Silver Surfer (The Silver Surfer), Abe Sapian (Hellboy, Hellboy 2), in numerous Sci-Fi roles from Buffy the Vampire Slayer to Doom, and as pretty much ALL of the super-awesome/scary characters in Pan’s Labyrinth.
Now unstoppable Doug Jones has gone back to his mime roots to release “Mime Very Own Book,” a tongue-in-cheek coffee table creation put together with the talents of Scott Allen Perry, Adam Mock, and photographer Eric Curtis.
You can buy it on Amazon, so Ch-Ch-Ch-eck it out!
And, just for fun, here’s a “Retarded Policeman” video with Dougie and Josh ‘The Ponceman’ Perry (who also did the forward for Dougie’s book). Like Doug always says: There’s Love!
You know when you write someone a love letter and never hear back from them? Yeaaaahhh sooooo, this song is about that.