oh, i'll never get to that star,
but i've seen the universe in a blade of grass
One of the greatest gifts i’ve been given in this life has been the crystal realization that there is truly an eternity of mystery and joy to be gained by participating in nature rather than trying to subdue it or observe it in a museum. The fact that we have a word in our culture called “nature” intrinsically damns us to be forever separate from it. At one point in the history of our species, every one of us was a hunter/gatherer. As a modern forager, i feel like i’m unlocking some kind of hidden doorway to our ancestors. At it’s core, foraging is a sacred act. It’s an activity that honors the plants, recognizes our connection to the cycle of life and pays respects to all of our ancestors who gathered and passed on the wisdom of the natural world. I put great value in this kind of activity as i feel that the quest to connect to our food source is a universal pursuit. We all need to eat for survival but i don’t know of a better way to connect with food than gathering it myself right from the living ground. In truth though, probably the best symptom of all of this is how fun it is. I’ve never met a depressed forager!
It’s not here at all
i cannot recall
the game i played when i was young
without your little face
to put me back into place
i played good
but i can’t believe that i won
Fatherhood changed everything for me. it sounds a little cliche to say it simply like that but for me, that statement is saturated with the truth.
My kids have passed on a lesson to me that I’ve thankfully been unable to ignore. Through them I see daily glimpses of the wide-eyed wonderment that only a deep nature connection can bring. They have a natural affinity for mud. They have an uncanny ability to swim happily in ice cold lake water. They constantly ask questions about their world. Sometimes they make their parents feel a little stupid while we fumble for an explanation to a question like, “hey papa, what’s a shadow?”
I know as a dad, i’m gonna make a lot of mistakes, but my goal as a parent is to give them as many experiences with nature as possible and allow them room to explore their minds and bodies with as little judgment on my part as possible.
You can call me a madman
but i am spoken for
should i blame my profession
or should i bless the war
I entered hard into the world of the the music business when i was around 19. I never really had a drive to get rich from music but i did want to get noticed. I wanted to be validated like everybody else. I guess in my case, i found the means to get that attention when i performed my first concert at Saratoga Winners way back in the days before my beard. The worst part of the night was the sheer terror of forcing myself to perform in front of people for whom i thought could see right through my floral pattern shirt, into my soul and decipher right then and there if i was worthy or flat out full of teenage shit. Even though looking back now i realize it was a pretty lousy performance, somehow i passed the test.
Time when on. i got better. I challenged my own writing more. I dug deeper. And sonically i’ve alway striven for the “ah fuck it” approach. I wanted to learn how to get on that stage and just let go. completely. whole-heartedly. I wanted my performance to be like an uncoreographed dance. Wild, unkept and at least, figuratively dangerous. I’m still learning this but i do think i’ve gotten better at it over the years. I’ve come to be at peace with the fact that i’m not the best guitar player out there and i’m not the best singer but nobody out there can play me better than i can. I figure if i can grab into my chest every night and slap my bleeding heart on the stage, that people will respond and will connect.
We burn through our money
we take off our gloves
we cut up our eyes on the razor of love
i can’t understand everything that you can
but i love you
human relationship advice is the kind of generous offering that should come with the caveat of “ well let’s see, i don’t know what the hell i’m talking about but anyway…here’s my advice”
I don’t claim to know much about the key a happy, healthy relationship but i do feel that there is something to be said about having a partner that you share your core values with but one who also challenges you and understands your limitations.
I’m pretty lucky to have that person in my life. In my earlier yeas I’ve had the relationship equivalent to junk food but as i get older i feel like i’m finally getting the nourishment i need.
A close friend of mine once told me that my frustrated quest for balance in this life was akin to finding “the place where the three rivers meet.” Nature. Music. Family. So really this blog is about all the elements and nutrients that make up those rivers and how they connect and ultimately flow together. I find it impossible now to separate these things in my life as if they were somehow isolated. So I hope you enjoy reading these posts. Here’s how we live.
C H R I S T I N A
After a show, whenever people say to me, "your husband is so talented!", I'm never sure what the proper response is. What I want to say is, "I know!", but that seems rude. "Thank You" never seems right, because, well, it wasn't a compliment to me. So I always end up awkwardly saying something like, "I'm glad you enjoyed the show!", then frantically looking around for Sean to show up and sign this person's album. Attention horrifies me. It makes me clumsy and bumbling, and I am in fact mortified beyond belief that my photo is staring me in the face on this blog right now. But somehow, I ended up married to someone whose entire job it is to turn heads. That's the thing about Sean and me. Total. Opposites. Let me let you in on some info about Sean that you just may not know. Sean is more than messy. He doesn't even close the cupboard after he gets a glass out of it. He drives 10 miles under the speed limit. He can't remember...anything. But what you may already know? He writes songs from a place that doesn't exist in this world. He values literally every single person who listens to his music. He tries so hard to answer every facebook message he gets, because he doesn't want anyone to feel forgotten. And he is genuine. In every possible way, this man is genuine.
Marriage changes your life. Kids change your life. Fuck, every time I step out of my front door, my life changes. I've never felt comfortable with that until recently. I was always grabbing at the air, trying to pull back memories and feelings, trying to be the same person I was because I always thought you had to be "true to yourself" or something like that. It confused me, that phrase. What if you never knew who you were in the first place? What if you didn't like who you were in the first place? When Sean and I first met, I tried to get really into foraging. Now, I grew up on Long Island. I didn't camp until I was 19. I didn't swim in a lake or hike or pick mushrooms or birdwatch or make debris huts. I didn't know what I wanted, where I was going, or what was the point of any of it. But, he had me at "when your heart is broke, when your eyes are wet". So I tried. And I changed. And I've changed a little every day since.
Every day, I am inspired, pushed to the edge of my comfort zone, trying to accomplish 1,000 tasks, and beating myself up for only tackling 999. It took us a lot of years to get to a point where we could finally say, oh, so this is what's really important in life! Music and kids and learning and making and eating and swimming and laughing and reading and talking and watching and listening and people. This is what we've aspired to. This is what is real to us. Here's how we live.