Hello 2019 and Goodbye Mary Oliver
Updated: Sep 2, 2019
I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and New Year. I think that I did, although it’s hard to remember at this point. Everything moves so fast and each day leaves the recent past a blur. All I know is that so far 2019 is kind of kicking my ass. I’m not sure yet if it’s in a good way or a bad way. Or both. I haven’t written a thing in several months and that always feels precarious. However, I have been learning lots of new fiddle tunes and that is joyful to be sure. I have laughed a lot and cried quite a bit. I’ve had a lot of good food and wine, and also a stomach ache for a month. It’s a mixed bag, as everything always is. And I feel like this year has barely even woken up yet. Oh lord.
Take a look at our website for other upcoming dates. But not to worry—I will send out reminders. We are also working on our new album with Keith Thomas of Ivy River Studios. So far we’ve always done everything ourselves, so it’s a departure, a relief, and a delight to be working with him.
In sad news, Mary Oliver died last week. I didn’t know her but I cried anyway. So many actors and musicians that I have loved have died over these past few years and I acknowledged their passing and didn’t cry one bit. I love the poetry of Mary Oliver. I think I cried for her because her passing caused a huge swell of feeling to rise in me—like a giant shot of all her most beautiful words at once, straight to the heart. The creator of all those words that have brought me all these feelings has left the theatre. But lucky us, her words are still here.
The Summer Day Who made the world? Who made the swan, and the black bear? Who made the grasshopper? This grasshopper, I mean- the one who has flung herself out of the grass, the one who is eating sugar out of my hand, who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down- who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes. Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face. Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away. I don’t know exactly what a prayer is. I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass, how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields, which is what I have been doing all day. Tell me, what else should I have done? Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon? Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? —Mary Oliver
That last line slays me every time. What do you plan to do? I plan to let my heart crack open and to love. Because what else should I do? What else can we do?