Thank you for responding to my last newsletter. Not only was I touched by your words, I was amazed to discover who’s out there - childhood friends, customers from past jobs, fans who suffered through my first open mic performances, my high school boyfriend - I had no idea you were reading these! I feel naked... but also warm, so it's okay. :)
It’s sooo much easier to flash a room full of strangers and flee to the next town. That I can do, every night. But writing this email has been hard because I’m stepping down from those bright lights and into the darkness… and I’ve decided to cancel the New Mexico and Texas tour dates. I’m sorry. I know a lot of you were looking forward to the shows and I was, too. But as I mentioned in the last post I’ve been swerving for a long time and I gotta pull over.
I finally made the decision a couple weeks ago when I was stopped on I-5 in pouring rain, one truck behind a jackknifed tractor trailer. (Don't freak - I took the above photo when my car was in park.) A few seconds sooner I would’ve been caught in the wreck, but honestly, that didn’t even faze me. I was just so tired and my back hurt so much. I felt trapped and cold and hungry and angry, missing my concert, needing to pee, wanting to cry, and thinking fuck this!
It’s not an uncommon scenario - travel as much as I do and this could be a weekly or daily occurrence. But night after night I sing (admittedly, preach) about following your heart, living your truth, peace and love and... I’d be a hypocrite if I carried on like this. My life has been so out of balance for so long I feel like I’m walking perpendicular to the rest of the world. Like, on air.
AND I feel really good and peaceful and settled and happy! Isn’t that strange?? That we can house all these feelings at once?! As I was tearing my hair out trying to write this email Pete (boyfriend) said, “Finish - not perfect. It’s impossible to fit all your feelings into one newsletter.” He’s right, and that’s what I love about music (and him) - it is possible to fit all my feelings into one song.
This song by Jen Cloher perfectly captures how I feel right now:
Fear is like a forest
The dark of the unknown
Love is like a promise
That you'll never be alone
Touch is like a tourist
You know when you are home
It's not that I'm a purist
It's just I'd rather be alone
Books waiting to be written
Lovers waiting to be loved
Songs here, underneath my fingers
Waiting to be sung
Nothing will be written
And not one lover will I love
No song will I be singing
If it's will I'm running on
But I know that it works
'Cause I've seen that it's true
If you just let it go
It will come back to you
It'll come back in spades
It'll come back in pairs
It'll come back in waves
It'll come back 'cause it cares
Come back 'cause it cares
Only love gets us through the long haul. And even love needs to be tended to, otherwise music and life and all its beautiful colors shrivel up. So it's time to refill the soul. And honestly, my bank account.
A couple weeks ago I calculated how much money I’d make if I did this tour, versus how much I’d have if I stayed home. The difference is about $50. Yes, $50, for six weeks of back-aching, soul-whittling, gas-guzzling work - versus staying home. Again, nothing has really changed - it’s never been about the money - I've driven to Texas to sing for free more than once (Forgive me, Mama Earth). But then it’s never not been about the money. Was it Einstein who said, "insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results?" Because I'm pretty sure he knew a thing or two. And I've felt insane. My main motivation to push through this tour was to see friends along the way - but what kind of friend can I be when I'm forever exhausted, stressed, arriving late, leaving early, never able to reciprocate, always on the verge of a meltdown? What kind of an artist am I when I need to sell something - whether an album or beer - in order to share my art?? If it's between being a good person and a Great Artist which will I choose? Is it a choice? Can the two coexist??
Lots of skeletons rattling the brain right now. Pretty soon the pumpkins will give way to you know what, so I'm savoring this opportunity to be quiet. To reflect on what's past and what's important.
And music is really important to me. I love singing for you. So I'll continue to sing around Santa Cruz and the Bay Area while I'm on "hiatus." I'm also 43 songs into the 52 Covers Project and gearing up for the 52 Originals Project in 2018! So excited to dig into writing. For now here are the final shows of ~ life on the road ~
Wednesday, Nov. 1 Wine & Song, Pasadena, CA
Thursday, Nov. 2 The Boathouse Collective, Costa Mesa, CA
Sunday, Nov. 5 Orange County Center for Spiritual Renewal, Fountain Valley, CA
Sunday, Nov. 12 Center for Spiritual Living, Redwood City, CA
Merry Samhain and Happy Halloween,