O and B passed out after the trip . . .
My week in Seattle was the most fun I've had in a while. I got to see so many amazing things . . . .
scenic views of downtown
lakes covered in a soft blanket of fog
attractive people of all ethnicities
a gloomy and sinister Amazon building on a hilltop
a magical Steinway piano by a window
a guy named Lars and his lady friend
singing New Zealanders
a big doughnut by a reservoir where a wedding proposal once took place
amusingly burnt bread at an Italian restaurant
the view of strangers through a big window of a French cafe
Bruce and his son Brandon
a sunset mirrored by water
the site of a spectacular mountain through a tiny airplane window
Asians freezing in a church
a couch by a reflecting pool at Seattle U
bacon AND chocolate TOGETHER(!)
the smile of a woman in a French cafe who gave me precious advice about life
a fairy on a ferry
gorgeous, big blue eyes that will strike the hearts of many some day
a giant troll nestled under a bridge
a little family of three in a house of happy colors
people at a bus stop perpetually waiting
a surprised fluffy cat upon the unexpected arrival of a stranger
a mother and her daughter staring out of a window on a ferry to Bainbridge Island
breathtaking art from some kickass Asian people
the most HYSTERICAL hula hoop dancing EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!
standing on the street by a bus stop and catching a final glance through the window of a little girl laughing . . . .
For this trip, I got to visit friends of mine who I've known over ten years now. I still remember when I first met them. Seeing the changes that have transpired in their lives was a bit of a thrill for me. They have a family now, and a life rich with joy, struggle, laughter, and love. In general, I tend to worry about many of my friends and always hope that they have at least some happiness in their lives. I headed home relieved that they are safe and cared for in each others arms.
Unbeknown to them, I've been doing research for my next album that I hope to record early next year. The view of a family with all its quirks and tenderness gave me much to think about . . .
During this trip, as I often do when I am away from home, I gave myself time to think about my life and the direction I am going. I made some big decisions for myself that I hope to follow through on over the next few years. Life tends to move one with or without one's active involvement. I plan on having my say in the matter quite assertively.
Seattle is a different world far removed from my little corner in the south. Giant trolls live under sprawling bridges. Ghosts wander through town leaving a trail of fog in their wake. An army of mountains stand guard just over the horizon--majestic in their quiet, stoic vigilance. Towers scrape the clouds of an overcast sky. People from all over the world live here as exotic textures and flavors abound. This is a place where the ocean greets the land, and the salt of the sea travels no further. There is a richness here--fed by rain, cradled by water.
I hold a deep fondness for this magical place.
I returned to Nashville feeling refreshed and renewed for the year to come. I am so grateful for the time I had away.
For posterity, I wanted to document some of the most memorable moments I experienced in 2009. There have been some amazingly wonderful times . . .
Last January, I was blessed to visit my good friends Leigh and Chris in Seattle. I stayed for a few days and brought along Oreo and Buttercup. I ate a HUGE burrito, hung out with a troll, visited Bainbridge Island, visited the grave of Bruce Lee and his son, had a lovely ferry ride, wandered aimlessly through a cubist library, and pretty much took photos of O and B all around the city. More than anything, I enjoyed spending time with Leigh, Chris, and their beautiful daughter Sophia! It was the best trip ever.
In February, my sister made a second attempt at teaching me how to knit. The first time it happened I got really frustrated and tossed it all aside. For whatever reason, something stuck this time around. My first project was a beautiful maroon and beige scarf that I still wear to this day. So far, I've knitted eight scarves, two hats, a bracelet, and half of a throw blanket ever since. It is such relaxing and rewarding way to pass the time. I'll be knitting more in the next year. Here is a photo of the first scarf I ever knitted:
Last February, I visited Atlanta with my friend Chris. We were mainly there to see an Antony and the Johnsons concert, but we decided to make a whole weekend out of it. Of course, I took Oreo and Buttercup along. We visited some fancy malls, and I ate this AMAZING butternut squash dish that I will never forget as long as I live. It was a really wonderful trip. My friend Chris was the best host ever! Here he is being slightly embarrassed having his picture taken with a miniature piano and a rowdy bench:
Simply put, it was one of the best concerts I have ever been to. This was one band that did not need a bunch of crazy pyrotechnics and theatrics to put on a beautiful show. They were on tour to support the release of the new album "The Crying Light" and sang most of the songs from it. There was even a cover of Beyonce's hit song "Crazy In Love". I sat in the front row in direct sight of Antony playing the piano. It was so mesmerizing. After the show, my friend Chris and I got to meet Antony. He signed a copy of his CD for me, and I gave him a copy of my album "Seahorses". It was the best concert ever! For sure, I will see them perform again whenever I possibly can.
"I feel stronger." Years later, the line still randomly comes to me, unbeckoned.
It was from one of the most odd and intriguing video games ever made -- Planescape: Torment. You woke up in the morgue as a scarred and battered man who didn't know his name. When you got killed, you would… wake up back in the morgue. You were immortal. You couldn't die. Your goal was to figure out how this happened, who you are, and what you should do about it.
It was beautiful, well-written, and immersive. But the point that still stands out to me is that line.
"I feel stronger."
It happened when you leveled up. The levels up weren't something you chose; they just happened when you accumulated enough experience. It's an interesting metaphor -- you wake completely ignorant, but as you accumulate experiences, you feel stronger. Not "I am stronger." I feel stronger.