Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Spring Is Definitely In The Air (i.e. Hot Froggy Love)

Oh yes I did! I couldn't help myself. This evening when I was walking in from the back porch I heard some rustling in the leaves. Out of curiosity, and much against my better judgment, I looked towards the noise. And this is what I found. I thought it was too cute to pass up. I know, I know, I completely interrupted them. But trust was pretty clear they either didn't care that I was there or had no idea I was there. She tried to hop away....typical scenario....but he was relentless. It was cute and proves that spring is in the air.......

I sincerely hope I have not offended anyone! Most especially, I am hoping I didn't offend Kermit and his lady friend. I would hate to cause any ill will between myself and my backyard tenants.

Last night I took myself out on a date! I invited myself to go see Patty Griffin live at Floore Country Store. I dressed up for myself, drove myself to the concert, bought myself a drink and enjoyed one of the best, if not THE BEST, live performances I have ever seen.
Originally I had purchased two tickets and asked Najla to join me. She is a huge Kelly Willis fan and I KNEW she would equally appreciate Patty Griffin. She agreed but as the time drew near she realized she likely wouldn’t be up for a late night. I completely understand that given she is close to 8 months pregnant. I really didn’t stress about finding someone to go with me; I figured I would just go alone and enjoy Patty Griffin by myself. I had a few people mention they might be able to join me but in the end no one was able to join me.

As I have indicated in prior posts I was really, really, really looking forward to this concert. Patty’s music has cradled me through a very difficult time in my life. Her music, songwriting and voice gives me permission to experience deep, deep sorrow but in the very next instant she reminds me about the beauty of suffering and how strong we come out on the other side.

Around 6pm I started having doubts, major doubts, about going alone. I went through the motions of getting ready, fixing my hair and applying my make up. I remembered this one episode of Sex in the City where Samantha Jones went to a jazz concert all alone because no one wanted to go with her. (As it happens this actually is a true story. Kim Catrall attended a Chick Corea concert alone in Manhattan. At the concert she met her future husband! I suppose the writers liked the story line and included it in the series!) So, I summoned my inner Samantha….(which I really don’t have much of….I am more of a Carrie Bradshaw)…and I took myself out on a date.

I spoke with my mother on my way to the venue. She was so worried someone was going to “steal me” from Helotes, TX. I assured her I would be fine and would remain in constant contact with her throughout the concert and would call her when I arrived home.

I picked up my tickets at will call and the young lady said, “You purchased two tickets. Will your guest be arriving later?” I said, “Nope, it’s just me tonight.” And she said, “Oh, that’s okay. There are tons of cuties here! Enjoy yourself!” “I will,” I responded.

Imagine my relief when I saw chairs set up in rows. Typically it is standing room only and the thought of “standing” alone was what was frightening me most. I found a seat, behind a huge pole, and then moved further down the row. The lady next to me said, “You can put your purse down here, or scoot down further if you would like.” I said, “Thank you. I am here alone so I am not saving a seat for anyone.” She didn’t make a sad face for me, in fact, she did not respond at all to my admission of “single-ness” at this event. This made me feel instantly comfortable. She looked to be about my mom’s age and her husband had this fabulous mess of long gray hair and emanated a very cool vibe for a man roughly the age of my father. I felt safe sitting next to them.

The opening act was a gentleman named Michael Fracasso. I had heard of him but had never seen him live. He sang “Only the Lonely” and I smiled for my frantic mother! She is a huge Roy Orbison fan. I thought to myself, she would be happy to know that I was not only sitting safely next to a nice couple but that it was good mojo that one of her favorite songs was being sung live! Between the first and second acts I started talking with the lady next to me. Her name is Charlotte and her husband’s name is John. He is the Patty Griffin fan. She really had never heard of Patty Griffin before. As it turns out they live in my parent’s neighborhood. In addition, Charlotte is a retired speech pathologist so she knew exactly what my job entails! We had a lot in common and they really were a joy to talk with. They offered to walk me to my car at the end of the concert because they would have wanted someone to do that for their daughter.

I am not sure I can do the concert justice. Words simply can not explain the energy in the room. The audience was small…maybe 250 people. When Patty Griffin arrived on stage the audience was transfixed. It was completely silent and everyone had a singular purpose. It was clear to me by the looks on everyone’s face that they love her for the same reasons I do. She makes deep connections with people through her words and her music. She often touches upon life’s deepest, darkest vulnerabilities and celebrates life’s greatest joys at the same time. She sang a lot of gospel music because that is what she is currently working on. It struck me that God is using her as a tool for His word because when she sang those classic gospel songs you could feel the entire room really believed in the “promise land” or the “place just over the mountain!” I am glad I went alone. When she sang “Heavenly Day” I gave myself permission to cry. (I wouldn’t have done that if anyone were with me.) And I don’t mean misty eyed…I mean big fat tears rolling down my face. No one noticed because not one person took their eyes off her. The young lady behind me cried as well. I have never cried at a concert, no one has ever moved me in that way. I decided at that point not only do I want that song played at my funeral, I want it to be the first dance at my wedding and playing when I have children! I want that song to be a part of every major life milestone I might be blessed with. As the concert ended I decided to stand up to grab a few photos of Patty. I finally rested myself inside the frame of the screen doors leading to the porch. She ended the concert with an old George Strait song since she was in “his neck of the woods.” She said it was only fitting to honor him. As she sang a light breeze blew through my hair and I didn’t care one bit that I was standing in that door alone. I felt completely at peace in that moment! I was IN that moment and moments passed and future moments didn’t matter. I long to inhabit that space more often. It doesn’t come naturally for me. But I am trying.
If any of you have the opportunity to see this woman live…, don’t walk! It doesn’t matter if you are unfamiliar with her work. She is captivating and takes you to a place that does your heart good! She is good medicine!

In celebration of Patty Griffin I have added a few of her songs. The first four songs you are hearing are hers. The song called “Fly” might be erroneously attributed to the Dixie Chicks. It is, in fact, a Patty Griffin song they covered on their album “Fly.” I dedicate that song to a dear friend that is at a major crossroads. You know who you are and I know you don’t ever have the volume up when you read my blog. Turn up the volume and listen to the words! And know that I am sending you my very best wishes during a very tough time.
I am lovin’ my new poster right now! I have admired this poster for a LONG time. I just never knew where to find it. I noticed it in two separate issues of Domino (sad, sad, sad, sad, sad….it has shut down production). That motivated me to do my research and get this print in my house. Not only do I love the message, but I absolutely love the graphic quality of this print. The lines are so simple yet profoundly regal. And I can’t help but love the Tiffany blue element. It is my understanding the queen commissioned this print. It hung in the subways of London during World War II reminding the citizens to “Keep calm and carry on!” I found it on . I had it framed and picked it up today. I am going to hang it above my bed and hope that the message manages to drift into my dreams!
Lorelai, Luke (Lorelai’s boyfriend) and Emily (Lorelai’s mother) are sitting in the drawing room having drinks before dinner. Lorelai is particularly nervous about this dinner and has previously encouraged Luke to drink a lot as it helps to deal with her mother!

Emily: What happened to your martini?
Lorelai: It went to a happy place.
Emily: Do you want another one?
Lorelai: Does Pavarotti want another doughnut?
Goodnight friends.......

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