When you listen differently –


I have a confession. I love weird music. Well, I think it’s beautiful 🙂 but I’ve heard it’s weird. This is one of those artists I adore. Joanna Newsome writes these little packets of profundity, and I love her oddish voice and the harp. For some reason, her music touches my heart in a happy way, resettles me and centers me emotionally. So, when I found myself singing along with her album “Milk-eyed Mender,” I sputtered along with some words that took on an entirely new meaning….

“…And you do lose what you don’t hold…”

I’ve always held that little line to be a notion of holding on to those things you don’t wish to lose – in fact, to get personal, I’d always stuck to that line as one my partnerish should have heard – a line to help him see, you need to hold me – to really want me – in order not to lose me, dammit!

But when I heard it this time, on my way home from the news that my mother’s cancer had returned, it struck me that perhaps we can take this line from the Buddhist perspective – that, in fact, if we simply let go of the suffering and the hate and the sorrow, that it will leave us. It made me smile as I thought this during my drive – so much so that I returned the track to the beginning and listened three more times, listening for loss and the strength to let go.


Charlie Day at Merrimack


It’s that time of year – Graduation! When things start over, are scary and exciting all at the same time, for so many people. I have been there three times now (well, four if you count high school, I suppose), and I remember feeling each time like Charlie describes here: trepidation mixed with the open possibilities of an ending leading to a new beginning.

I generally hate commencement speeches – they only remind me of how much I haven’t done, how much I haven’t succeeded (yet) and how far I still have to go. They remind me that my passion is perhaps a bit untamed – there are too many directions that I love and am good at, so much so that I get stuck in the ordinary.

But Charlie. Charlie, charlie, charlie. I listened to this speech, and as I did, I made a decision. One I’ve been obsessing over, but have been too fearful to make. Hopefully I find a place which allows me to flourish and to reclaim my creative self – to reclaim an exploration of my passions. For years now – since 2010 after I finished my first master’s – I have been feeling stuck and unfulfilled.

Now is my opportunity to get unstuck. Thanks, Charlie 🙂 I appreciate the motivation.