On Saturday morning, in a perfect, Midwestern, white-out blizzard, I drove—white knuckled—from Chicago to Canton Township. My four hour trip turned into an eight hour one. I was in the ditch twice. And I was covered in leg bruises from falling on the ice while trying to haul around my new keyboard, which literally weighs more than I do. But knowing that things change, you hang in there. Onto the show with The Smokin Sleddog folks. Andre Villoch played a great set, and so did Zig and Siusan. JS, Greg and John showcased some new tunes that were fairly phenomenal, and Jason and Diana played an instrumental set that made my jaw drop a bit. More than a bit. Ok, I think my knees buckled too. Anyhow, the show ended with John and the Latini guys bringing down the house as only a band of relatives can do. When the show was over, I realized that my overnight plans of heading north made no sense, and so I should find a place to stay in the area. This took forever, and I was desperate for sleep. But I figured that things must change at some point, so I tried to hang in there. After an hour, I finally found a recycled motel. I call it recycled because these kinds of motels usually are called something like “America’s Cheapest Inn” and they have Super 8 faucets with Sheraton towels and Hampton Inn waste baskets. That’s cool by me. I figure I’m part of a conservation movement whenever I stay in places like that. So I checked in. But in the draining process of lugging my keyboard into the motel, I didn’t clear the corners of the hallways very well, and I ended up ripping off the moulding from the walls. It sounded like an iceberg splitting in two. So me and my keyboard and about 15 feet of plastic moulding—probably Marriott—collapsed on the bed. I got an instant bloody nose . Just then, I heard what I liked to believe was somebody dribbling a basketball in the room adjacent to mine. From the sound of it, the couple in the neighboring room was having a much better time than I was. The sound went on all night long, and while I applauded them for their stamina, I was dying for sleep. Life felt cruel. But somewhere in the back of my head, I kept trying to tell myself that it was just a moment, and it would end, and things would change. The events of Sunday went on like a comedy of errors. I don’t need to fill you in. But again, the lesson remains: things change. Today is Martin Luther King Day, and tomorrow, Barack Obama will be sworn in as the President of The U.S. I think often about why many of us advocate for Obama and King like we do. It is because everything about them represents that fundamental need to believe that pain will cease. I can’t imagine what would have happened had they and other great believers of change stopped believing in themselves. How would it be if we never hoped that there is more that can be done, that there is the wonderful world of the unknown beyond what is known that holds endless possibilities for a better way of life? How sad life would be without this. In times of my own personal strife, my dad—for as long as I can remember—has shot me the same phrase: this too shall pass. I used to hate when he said it. Now, I get it. As life goes on, you begin to see that things do change, and the series of moments that lead to disaster can lead to another series of moments that lead to hope. This wisdom is not permanent for me yet; I have to will myself to remember it. But I think this is one of the greatest gifts we can give to ourselves when times are difficult: the reminder that things can change. I have another long car trip tomorrow, and I’m packing tonight. I’m looking forward to listening to the inauguration address tomorrow. I’m also looking forward to more of the music of Cory Chisel and The Wandering Sons. These guys are great. Their music is like blueberry pie. Rustically assembled. Wild to the taste. Uncommon in its genre, but common in its accessibility. The delivery of these tunes is so familiar, but the depth of the content is anything but ordinary.
GET EMAILS FROM EMILY
06/22/2013Monroe Arts Center - Monroe, WI
06/24/2013GRC - Madison, WI
06/25/2013GRC - Madison, WI
06/26/2013GRC - Madison, WI
EMILY ON SPOTIFY
Spotify has made it to the U.S.; Emily's music is there! Sign up for your account by clicking here.