Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Famous Amos

Amos Lee played in Winston last night. I get chills just thinking about the show. I love his music, so I was expecting a good performance, but he blew me away. His voice is powerful live—more powerful than what comes through on his recordings, and the man can play a guitar and jam with the band. I love watching good musicians get together and practice their craft. They let it flow, pure ecstasy on their faces as they become absorbed in the jam. How do they know? Being that I am not musically inclined, it always baffles me to watch musicians take a tune they are familiar with and transform it into a cascade of beats totally new. I am envious of that connection, that language musicians have. I love being in the audience when an artist coaxes sound from guitar strings or piano keys and transmits the message to his fellow players on a stage, resulting in melodies never before played.
Look him up, his live show is well, well worth it.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Art urges

At the moment, I have this unmistakable feeling to be artistic, to create something; to express through other ways than writing. It began when I watched Frida last week. Though the movie has been out for a few years, I hadn’t seen it until now. Frida’s artwork is completely gripping, and her story is strikingly painful. But she dealt with it—life gave her blows, and she translated her emotions very realistically on the canvas. Her art is not subtle or wrought with impressionistic imagery. Her husband was repeatedly unfaithful to her, and she depicted her pain through brushstrokes. She miscarried—she painted it, in all its graphic detail.Her imagination is partly what makes her paintings so salient: she was a genius at taking emotion, in all its nuances and impreciseness, and turning it into an image that is easily recognizable: you see it, and you think, yes! that’s what if feels like to be lied to, to feel frustrated, etc. I can’t relate to many of the tragedies that struck her, but I still get it. I see her art, and I recognize a woman who understood how healing it is to take the mashings and confusions of heartache and turn it into a colorful motif.
I am not by any means artistic. My attempts at drawing human images are simply stick figure-ish, and I don’t understand how to use and mix colors. My mother is an artist, but her spatial genes, unfortunately, didn’t get passed on to me. When I was younger, I would make cards for people out of ripped construction paper. I found the whole process rejuvenating, and it served as my small way to show people that I cared. So, in all honesty, I don’t know quite what to make of these sudden “art urges.” Should I buy construction paper and make collages? Should I try writing poetry? How do I translate my pliable emotions into a tangible presentation? Would I feel some release if I could harness feelings that I haven’t expressed in my relationship and turn them into a graphic? Would creating art bridge the interstice between my emotions and my rational thought?
People express their emotions through different outlets. Frida’s outlet was painting. I am still trying to figure mine out. Many people, in my observation, don’t like the transparency of art or expression—in whatever form it may take. They prefer to hide their feelings behind opaqueness. I, on the other hand, don’t do that so well. If I am feeling something, I have to express it, in some form. I think that finding the right form is as meaningful as the art that comes to fruition.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


For the Easter weekend, Cullen and I flew to Seattle to rendezvous with my family at our cabin. That was my first trip to the West Coast since moving to NC, and my first time seeing my siblings since August. We had such a fabulous weekend. I was giddy the whole trip. The cabin is one of my favorite spots, and seeing everyone again after so long—esp. with Cullen in tow, made it extra lovely. We had great weather on Friday, so Cullen and I explored the island with our running shoes. At the island’s tip, great trails abound, so when it was all said and done, we spent two hours running the island. To replenish our glycogen stores (or something like that) we, and the family, feasted on fresh oysters, clams, and mussels—right off the beach. Probably my second favorite thing about the cabin is the food gorging that goes on up there—we are so spoiled living on a beach replete with shellfish and waters teeming with crab and fishies. The beer and wine flowed and we were loud and maybe a bit crass, and the twins engaged in their never-ending wrestling matches with their uncle. The rest of the weekend followed pretty much the same course—family runs, frisbee, trips to town, more shellfish consumption, and a marathon game of Hearts that lasted well past my body’s (still on East Coast time) bedtime.
It was tough to say goodbye, and I left wishing that we could have a few more days before returning to reality. This trip, for me, was markedly different than previous cabin gatherings. For one, living so far away incites a new appreciation for the family. Also, I am in a really good place in my life right now. I think that my newfound independence has contributed to an overall deeper appreciation for what I have. I was thinking back to my last cabin trip last Easter, when I was still finishing school, and had great daydreams about moving to NC. At that point I had high hopes, but I wasn’t sure about the feasibility of my musings. I think that I was in a bit of a funk at that point—the reality of everything coming together just didn’t seem so possible. So to look back and compare, now a year later, is quite fantastic. Not only am I living in NC, but my job is great, and the transition has been so easy. Things have come together better than I had hoped, and being there this weekend gave me new insight into just how happy I am right now.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Yay spring!

Hallelujah, spring is here. It is so beautiful out--pink and white and green everywhere. In celebration, I did what anyone should do on a beautiful spring evening: made myself a strong margarita and washed my car. (It was, after all, coated in yellow, sticky pollen.)
The margarita led to another (or so) and because I had my momentum going, I decided to pack for my trip for Seattle. We leave tomorrow. (Is this really just pre-family drinking and not, uh, spring?) Anyways, the chore is done and tomorrow we depart. I am sure that I will post a long one after the trip. I am looking forward to the getaway. I do love the cabin. I think I'll go pour another.