»> Have Company »> Grand Rapids, MI
BIRTHDAY SHOW! One of the best shows I played on tour. Intimate. Daring. Wonderful. I kicked off my heels and got down on the floor with the dust and the truth. Marlee owns Have Company with her bean of a husband and is a sorceress.
I am 29. Here are 29 reasons that rules.
1. I believe in the power of the great mystery more than ever.
2. The great mystery is actually me. And you too.
3. I have too much love in my life to contain.
4. I have tasted both coasts and a lot of the in between.
5. Music still astounds me. Chance the Rapper, Kate Bush, Michael Jackson. My ears are a carnival ride.
6. My parents are golden hearted wizards, tender and kind.
7. I am learning. The road is so long. I am ready.
8. In a world weighed down by some much terrible, if I open up and choose it, I can find connection.
9. I know Angel Nafis. I know Jon Sands. I know my Mom. I know Aba. I know my Brother. I know Alessandra. I know Kevin. I know a wealth of teenagers. I know a wealth of senior citizens with eyes like toddlers. I know fearless queers. I know Jeremy Radin. I know Casey. I probably know you, and you are probably pretty excellent. I know Donka. I know myself.
10. What’s up bacon? Thanks for loving me and my arteries back!
11. I used to have a slight fear of dogs. In the last few years I had nightmare after nightmare where they chased me around a room or bit me, etc. Running, running from dogs. This tour, I’ve spent more time with pups than ever. Last night, I had a dream a dog I was taking care of got loose and lost. I called it. It leapt into my arms. Home.
12. My bliss. Bein’ followed.
13. Speakin of, New Years Eve, my friend Syreeta and I were behind a car after the ball dropped and the sparks sparked and the champagne was poured. The license plate read MYBLISS. Oh, we followed it. Far as we could. Laughing. Glee-wet and growling.
14. I’m coming back to one of the most audacious, productive, creative cities in the world. Home to the grindiest of grinds. I’m gonna pollinate this city with the bulbs in my throat. Can’t. Wait. Won’t.
15. This is only the beginning.
16. More music, ready to froth forth.
17. Do you know what is beautiful? Bands like HOME BODY, who are art in motion, true artists, building a textural planet to frollick through. #1 Inspirations. Bold and dangerous and unapologetic in their slam dunks.
18. High fives. Brunch. Strong women. These things will always rule. No matter how down in the dumps my brain, no matter what I forget or regret.
19. My friends Lauren and Reed got married this year. This was said at their wedding, from Toni Morrison: “Love is divine and difficult always.” Remember how that is brilliant? Remember and earn it.
20. Driving through the desert with Abigail on this tour, we started to speak of my music plans, this journey, this raucous wilderness. Just as we were in the midst of speaking my dreams into the air, Abigail pointed “A lighthouse!” My power symbol. In the middle of the desert. As in, no water. Why yes! I think I will! Reach! And reach! Be an arm of light in every direction, no matter how barren the landscape.
21. My brother is in a band called HUGE FACE and they make my spine melt with their rock. They encourage me to be bigger and bigger in my rock. They slice the rock into confetti. Music. Is. Everything.
22. Have I spoken yet about my girl? Is that too private for this public of an internet world? She is a flock of possibility. She is a garden of gardens. What the hell, what the heaven, what the in-betweens, Love? I’m a web of gratitudes, singing underneath a chandelier of raindrops.
23. People are writing the craziest shit. I mean, there are poets out there RIGHT NOW rearranging the furniture in my skull. I am made better by their efforts, their songs. It is so gold/right to be alive in a plethora of beauty, of words that clutch and create. All the teens, elders, students I’ve been blessed to witness reach and pull from the sky real, tangible love. You inflate me endlessly.
24. Today it is sunny. I am in the town I went to college in. I don’t belong here. But I am on tour. I belong here. I will drop 20 CDs off to the local bookstore that I used to peruse when I felt loneliest. Remember how everything is useful? How everything saves us? Even when we think we are most unsalvageable? How there is refuge in things we can’t even see yet? That bookstore held me. I return with arms of blue, blue sound.
25. I am making and making. I am unstoppable.
26. We are pouring ourselves into what we love. We hold each other up.
27. I’ve heard that people who weave “We” into their lexicon moreso than “I” are happier. Well then. We are facing this world together. We must not forget that. We must forge forward linked. We must see a mirror in every stranger and a strange exclamation point in every mirror. We must not forget we are we. We. We. We.
28. If I’ve learned anything this year, it’s that whales know a lot. Their emotional intelligence is, apparently, more developed than humans. They see each other as themselves. Here here, hear that! Self is one. It explains mass beachings. When one whale beaches himself, the clan does. Can we learn to see ourselves as one? Can we view one beaching as the whole of us, dying? My friend Andrea Gibson co-founded an online community this year as a sort of suicide prevention hub premised such a thought. It is called Stay Here With Me. One of us is all of us.
29. Oh, is this the last number? Cus I’ve got buckets in me. Blue numbers. Red ones. Gold. Gold. Gold. I’m wearing gold on my feet right now. My friend Lauren brought me gold kicks sculpted just for my feet to a show in Seattle. I am taking a good step, then another good step. It is sometimes all one can do, when your shoulders ache, or your heart. It is sometimes all you can do, to not fly out of your own pants, when excitement grips you like a featherpen. It is always about that one good step. I’m thankful for ye who bring the shoes, ye who house my traveling head, ye who write the poems and make the bread, ye who urge me onward in the thickest fog, in the blindiest blindness, in the snow and the sunscrap. I love you. And Shira, I’m talking to you now: let it be difficult and divine, this love for yourself. Let it grow you. Let it collect in your blood, Love, a list that never ends, a tribe of yesses, a dissonant and perfect We.