Sunday, October 28, 2012


This has been a month of music for me! I am very lucky to live in a city that lives and breathes music—some of the best musicians in the world call this place home, and many artists make a stop here on their tours.

The month started with Xavier Rudd, an Australian artist with a giant spirit. I stumbled upon his closing prayer at his Bumbershoot set a few years ago, and stood spellbound. He trances with didgeridoos, deep drum beats, and words of healing and love.

Next came Macklemore, who has been making waves around the world with his track Same Love, which supports marriage equality. I've been following Macklemore's career since he started making waves on local nonprofit radio. Now he is suddenly huge, performed to a sold-out audience of 7,500 people, and had the number one album on iTunes for four days. All without a record label. His lyrics are authentic, hilarious, and heartbreaking. If you haven't already, watch the video below. Warning: it WILL make you cry.

The following week, I fulfilled one of my life goals and saw David Byrne in concert. He is currently touring with St. Vincent in support of their collaborative album. The show was a show: choreographed dance moves, crazy lights, and head-filling sound. My friend and I didn't think they would perform any Talking Heads songs, and they performed three of our favorites!

Next up was First Aid Kit. I missed them the first time they came through, but this time I was lucky enough to snag a ticket. Plus, the show was a benefit for 826 Seattle! They cast spells with their music, and sing with voices beyond their years.

Lastly, Lord Huron. I didn't get to go this show because I was sick, but the music is too good not to share. I call it ambient surf rock, lovely harmonies glide with a lilting guitar. Check it out.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Of Accidents, Emergency Rooms, and Letting Go of Anger

Sometimes, things have to explode for you to take a moment to pause. Sometimes those things are hot, sugary shards of glass that embed themselves in your skin. Let me explain.

Yesterday, an accident in the kitchen involving a Pyrex of cinnamon rolls set on the wrong burner (I meant to heat the tea kettle, and accidentally set the front burner to high) sent glass all over my tiny kitchen and into my right hand and forearm. I let out a string of incredibly creative expletives just as my friend Joe showed up for our afternoon music session. I told him we were going to the emergency room instead.

The lacerations were minor, the burns second degree, but it still hurt like fire in my veins. After the emergency room, Joe and I hunkered down with Thai food and British comedies. My apartment still smelled like delicious cinnamon rolls. I fell asleep trying to keep my arm propped up, like the nurse had told me to.

Joe was a champion, going above and beyond his friend duties. He kept one arm around me as we drove, cleaned my kitchen while I called my people to tell them what happened, and helped me redress my wounds before bed. Earlier in the week, we had gotten into a disagreement, and when I spoke to him about it in the moment, I felt my teeth grind, my heart pound, my voice tip into that strained octave. By the next day, I felt fine. I had let go being angry, and after a quick conversation, we were right back where we had started.

Two years ago, I would have let that anger burn. It would have smoldered into a resentment, possibly ending our friendship. I used to have no patience. I would cut people out of my life for minor offenses, but held on to toxic friendships that fed my addiction to victimhood and perceived power. Now, however, I'm able to practice "live and let live." If I had held on to that anger, Joe wouldn't have been there.

These cuts and burns will heal, and one day I'll gain full mobility of my hand. I'll always remember to check the burners, and I'll be forever grateful to my friend who was there in such a stellar way. Lessons learned.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Breathe. Believe. Receive.

Cousin Riah and her contribution to a blank wall and chalk we found when walking after dinner. *Please pardon the spelling error!*

As I have shared before, I am continually inspired by my family. They transcend time, they follow their bliss full throttle, and they know what I need before I even do. We're a collection of odd ducks, of bar tenders and artists and teachers and shadow agents (I'm convinced my papa works for the CIA, because I have no idea what a HVAC VP sales rep does). When we get together, it is all laughter, cooking, singing, like no time has passed between our gatherings.

So when my cousin Riah came to visit, once again, it was like no time has passed. We continued conversations we were having a year ago, and what started as musings are now real, fully formed ideas and opinions. In the time we spent apart we continued on our trajectories, not knowing the other was experiencing the same thing. 

We decided this may be the picture definition of "traipsing." 

There are surface similarities (like getting facial piercings within a day of each other—we had no idea what the other was planning to do!), but beyond that, our beliefs and values have grown alongside each other. We're both experiencing this shift, this openness to the universe and what it has to offer. It's one thing to have these kinds of tumbling talks with a friend, but someone you've known you're entire life? It's absolutely wild. 

Our conversations centered around the theme of not knowing what the day will bring. All we have is this moment, and we have no idea what will come our way. All we have control over is our intentions, our energy we put out into the world. I can experience the world with love and lightness, let go of particulars, and be open to offerings. 

Her visit was a breath of fresh air in the routine, an affirmation of my recent choices. Thank you, Riah!