“So come the storms of winter,
And then the birds in spring again.
I do not fear the time…”
— Sandy Denny
I turned 45 today. There’s nothing especially magical about that, but it’s a comfortable age. Five years into it, I’m still thoroughly enjoying my 40s, despite my elders’ assurances that I wouldn’t when I was a kid.
I have everything I need and most of what I want. Thanks to the surgery I had last summer, my most obnoxious and persistent health problem is gone. I have a rewarding career; supportive family and friends; a house full of pets and plants and mid-century furniture; a schedule that leaves time for creative pursuits; and a view of Tucumcari Mountain out my front window. I feel productive and appreciated — a feeling that was only reinforced this evening when three of my students were out for a walk around town and just randomly showed up in my front yard to say hello. (I don’t think they knew it was my birthday, but after all this social distancing, their unexpected visit was definitely a gift.)
I spent this morning celebrating the decade in which I was born by listening to the ’70s channel on Sirius while repotting some new houseplants and moving some old ones outdoors to give them better growing conditions.
I had a good day. I hope you did, too.
Shawn Colvin is a Carbondale girl. I have no idea why I haven’t posted anything of hers here before, but this is a really nice Tom Waits cover.
I was looking for a different Walela song when I ran across this video, but I couldn’t pass up a video of Rita Coolidge performing live, and these lyrics are just heartbreaking.
It is beyond incomprehensible to me that I have never posted a Sandy Denny video here. She was the lead singer for Fairport Convention, but perhaps more importantly, she wrote “Who Knows Where the Time Goes?” which has to be one of the three greatest songs ever to come out of the ’60s folk revival. (“Both Sides Now” and “Blowin’ in the Wind” are, of course, the other two. And yes, I know “Both Sides” isn’t technically folk, but I bet there’s not a folkie alive who couldn’t sing every word of it by heart. If there is, I call No True Scotsman.)
Anyway. Sandy Denny. Gone way too soon, but her work remains to bless us all. Enjoy.
By all rights, this year should have been great. A lot of good things happened. But it seemed as if every good moment had a down side.
I paid off my station wagon early … because it broke down in April and I need it out of my driveway.
My Cubs finally won the Series … without Ryne Sandberg on the top step of the dugout.
I got paid to lead a bus tour down Route 66 to New Mexico … where I spent the final day of the tour holed up in an Albuquerque hotel room with the worst migraine I’ve had since 1986.
I bought knockoffs of an Eames Shell chair and a George Nelson Marshmallow sofa … to replace the Eero Aarnio ball chair I had to get rid of because it was contributing to chronic tension headaches.
I watched the most qualified candidate in the history of presidential politics earn her party’s nomination …
This whole year has felt like that.
Fortunately, the Grateful Dead were kind enough to write a theme song for 2016. They just didn’t know it was for 2016 at the time.
We will get by.
We will get by.
We will get by.
We will survive.
As I said a few years ago: I’ll stop posting this when it stops being relevant.
I wonder where all those boys in the choir are today? ‘Twould be awesome if somebody could track them down and tell their stories.
I have no idea where the footage in this strange little video came from, but I find it impossible to be unhappy while listening to this song. In my world, a big dose of the Mamas and the Papas fixes pretty much everything.
Don’t act like you thought you were getting through Thanksgiving without this.
This song was part of a trove of previously unheard Woody Guthrie lyrics, which Billy Bragg and Wilco set to music several years ago for an album called Mermaid Avenue. I can’t think of anybody it suits better than Bob Seger (although I wouldn’t complain if Bruce Springsteen or maybe Neil Diamond wanted to have a go at it).
I can’t believe I’ve never posted “Old Man” on here before. This version resonates a little differently than some of his earlier performances.