Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -- Mark Twain
No one at the Farm has had as much impact on my music-cation as TSO. He introduced me to all of the bands/artists listed below, and who knows who all else.
Today as I am preparing to leave I am thinking back to my summer in grad school; TSO came for a visit that took us up for a long weekend around Traverse City, hiking Sleeping Bear Dunes, and all the way back to Detroit for a Ben Gibbard concert. How different our lives are 7.5 years later.
Thanks TSO for all of these folks: The Postal ServiceBen GibbardDeath Cab for CutieShe & HimFleet FoxesBlitzen TrapperDar WilliamsGillian WelchIngrid MichaelsonIron & WineMadeline PeyrouxMatt NathansonDamien RiceMIKANickel CreekRegina SpektorRufus WainwrightSufjan Stevens
For a while B1 & B2 were living in the Buffalo area, which put them about 1/2 way between me and the Farm, and made for a couple visits and a memorable New Years Eve carpool to the Farm. On one visit B1 & B2 introduced me to Joe Purdy (some of his music was featured on Gray's Anatomy). Kinda forgot about him until just now, totally ordering some of his music when I get back to work!
I have never met someone who loved Bob Dylan as much as ValleyGirl. A year or two younger than me, I always thought of ValleyGirl as an old soul.
When we met I hated Bob Dylan, hated hated hated, until one day something got into me and I liked him...a little bit, at least. And while I will NEVER be in love with him the way she is, I will always have a soft spot for certain Dylan tracks, this one in particular. I can't help but picture ValleyGirl simultaneously strumming her guitar, playing harmonica, and singing "Oh Sister."
Wayne, the head of the Farm department, always mystified me with his ability to rattle off stanzas on command. Filthily clad in jeans and flannel, gnarled hands, smelling like cows and manure or haying season, Wayne would show up for breakfast--always late--and occasionally surprise everyone with a poem or two. I didn't even know Updike wrote poetry until Wayne shared this:
"Hoeing" I sometimes fear the younger generation will be deprived of the pleasures of hoeing; there is no knowing how many souls have been formed by this simple exercise.
The dry earth like a great scab breaks, revealing moist-dark loam-- the pea-root's home, a fertile wound perpetually healing.
How neatly the green weeds go under! The blade chops the earth new. Ignorant the wise boy who has never rendered thus the world fecunder. --John Updike
Sweet B1 and I spent so much time together; before B2 and her married, before sweet Everett came along, we were housemates. And in that time she shared many wonderful poems and poets with me. On a car ride into town one weekend afternoon, B1 recited this entire poem, and I fell in love with it on the spot.
"How to Like it"These are the first days
of fall. The wind at evening smells of roads still to be traveled, while
the sound of leaves blowing across the lawns is like an unsettled
feeling in the blood, the desire to get in a car and just keep driving.
A man and a dog descend their front steps.The dog says, Let’s go downtown and get crazy drunk.
Let’s tip over all the trash cans we can find. This is how dogs deal with the prospect of change.
But in his sense of the season, the man is struck by the oppressiveness
of his past, how his memories which were shifting and fluid have grown
more solid until it seems he can see remembered faces caught up among
the dark places …
My Farm housemates and I read the entire Chronicles of Narnia aloud, something I'd never managed to read all the way through in my childhood, and I absolutely fell in love with the series, and particularly with Prince Caspian and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.
Writing about Eustace Scrub on New Years Day feels right, because if
ever anyone needed a new beginning, it was Eustace Scrubb. This passage is about Eustace, who, through his greed, was turned into a dragon and was unable to return to his human form.
“Then the lion said - but I don't know if it spoke – ‘You will
have to let me undress you.’ I was afraid of his claws, I can tell you,
but I was pretty nearly desperate now. So I just lay flat down on my
back to let him do it.
“The very first tear he made was so deep that I thought it had
gone right into my heart. And when he began pulling the skin off, it
hurt worse than anything I've ever felt. The only thing that made me
able to bear it was just the pleasure …