Pear and cheddar pie experimentation… @ekravailhe and @pravailhe are our guinea pigs. Thanks for such a lovely afternoon, guys!
P.S. This hasn’t stopped being my favorite tote bag.
Was just coming to post something for Malala.
Now THIS is a Nobel Peace Prize winner. THIS is what a lion looks like.
Last night Chris and I went to see John Prine together at the Greek. (Conor Oberst too. He was good but not our draw. The crowd was sort of divided between young hipsters / lovelorn groupies and a lot of aging folk lovers and Prine appreciators. We squeezed close to the latter and hoped they’d allow us). Our seats were up on the terrace and though it was already dark when we arrived on the shuttle from cheap parking near the pony rides in Griffith Park, you could still make out the mountain rising behind the stage and the forest that cups the whole amphitheater and the tentative stars competing with the lights of LA and a fattening moon. It was sort of heavenly.
This is the second time I’ve been lucky enough to see John Prine perform. Rooting and grinning around those stages like the smartest rooster in the pen. And still, sitting in the Greek Theatre, that quiet little tuck of peace in city. Listening to his voice purr and vibrate and growl and chuckle, hot as bourbon, and knit you right to him, I am humbled.
Like, knocked to my knees humbled. C and I talked about him the whole drive home. About what a master he is. About decades of prolific songwriting and his hand on his guitar like a code breaker. Pulling out stories and melodies none of the rest of us could decipher. Like something out of a fable, weaving gold. About his back up band in suits, slow dancing with their mandolins and upright basses, proud as the orchestra on that sinking ocean liner.
About his profound wisdom served on a sticky, checkered table cloth. Just unassuming and aw shucks and never taking itself too seriously. Sometimes I think everything you need to know in life, you could find in a John Prine song. For instance: when your marriage is in trouble, head north to some still waters and fish and talk it out.
Somehow, I kept thinking of Bel Canto as we were listening. Maybe we were guerrillas in the night, huddled before this virtuoso who never holds his unholy talent against us.
Maybe it was this line: “She sang as if she was saving the life of every person in the room.” Or this one too: “For a man to know what he has when he had it, that is what makes him a fortunate man.” You’ve never seen a man so happy to be making music.
John Prine is 67 this year, though I would have guessed older. Maybe it’s just that voice, slow as a satellite, that makes him feel preternaturally aged. Half way through the show, a surely-drunk Oberst straggler yelled out “You’re so hot!!!” and Prine kept strumming his guitar a moment and then replied, as if it was the natural next verse: “We’ll discuss that later” and the audience all fell apart laughing.
I hope we have so many laters with him. But in case we don’t, I wanted to mark this here. Just a thank you to John Prine for playing music that feels like summiting a mountain in the dark to hear live. That feels like every hard thing you’ve known and every good thing you’ve worked for set to music just slow enough to waltz around the perimeter of your life to. In that tuck of forest, under those scrawny stars, behind that guarding mountain.
Thanks, a lot.
Just because it’s 95 degrees here doesn’t mean we can’t pretend it’s fall and chop all the harvest veggies into Bacon Butternut Squash Soup aka Nirvana in my stomach, amen.
Beautiful message by Hank Fortener on what God wants for our lives. More than we know. More than we want for ourselves. Not a narrow path we can irredeemably forfeit. Just for us to choose life and building and wisdom over death and things that destroy. The pasture is wide and deep and free. Go. Run.
What a profoundly beautiful and timely epiphany, eh?
Thanks @mosaicla !!
"Somehow, these boys and this coach and this smart, beautiful wife live in a world where they are allowed to just keeping demanding more of each other and showing up for each other and yelling and loving and never giving up on each other.
Somehow, these characters are held to each other by a trust in which they are vulnerable enough to hear, every day, how they need to work harder and do better. And somehow, it doesn’t erase their value back to zero. They accept the truth in the assessment and commit to improving for themselves and for each other because they know the challenge was spoken out of love and loyalty and that it is no impeachment of their worth. And I know—to the perfectionist, sensitive-to-the-point-of-rawness heart of me—how very difficult that kind of open resilience is.
I know that you can only show up for that kind of honesty for someone you love and respect, who also loves and respects you and who holds constant in one sacred hand your worth. Who won’t ever let that hand down no matter how you fall and fail.”
From Lena Dunham’s new memoir "Not That Kind of Girl", speaking to being raped at college.
I think this is extraordinarily beautiful and true in a way that I am still figuring out in life. But every time I practice this kind of truth-telling (not exactly this kind, I am humbled by her experience and am climbing through different journeys) I keep nodding my head and realizing it’s ok for us to tell our own stories and it is profoundly good to feel not alone.
For Chris and me now, that’s about doing the deep, tiring, sometimes hilarious, always scary, heart-fueled work to resolve infertility. But it’s been a dozen different hard, shame-tinged things over the span of life and now, I guess I just want to shake out a giant blanket and say Here’s Where I’m At. If you need to come sit next to me, we can be in It together.