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.
I love my Sunday mornings. I'm doing a few loads of laundry while I write this. The smell of coffee floats in the dim sunlight that creeps through my window, and my toasted peanut butter sandwich is being casually nibbled on. This past week has been very enjoyable. My family went out to dinner to celebrate my Mom's birthday on New Year's Eve. We ate out at the Rainforest Cafe. With plants and vines hanging from the ceiling, the sound of water cascading down into a sparkling pool, and a rhinocerous asserting itself in a dark corner, it was a memorable place to chow down. My current addiction to hamburgers has not abated. I had a big fat BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger with fries. Oh so yummy!! The staff came out singing Happpy Birthday and presented my Mom with this decadent dessert called a "Volcano". Encased within a scaffolding of rich milk chocolate brownies, mounds of sweet vanilla ice cream and whipped cream wait to delight your taste buds. All the while, chocolate and caramel sauces ooze down around this entire volcanic structure. We all shared it, and it was divine. My Mom made a wish as she blew out the solitary candle atop this delicious delight . . . . The celebration continued as my sister and I took my Mom out to see the movie Marley and Me on New Year's Day . . . . It is a very sweet movie about a rambunctious but impossibly endearing dog and the family that raised him. You'll need a box of tissue for this one. If you love dogs and animals in general, this is the movie for you. 2009 has finally begun. I've mostly just chilled out over the latter half of December. This week, aggressive promotion for my album "Seahorses" starts up again. I've just taken over the reigns for my website from my friend Ben who redesigned it for me, and it will now be loaded with a ton of new content over the next week. I just reorganized my workspace here at home. My keyboard sits by my window now . . . Here is central command . . . (Notice O and B mugging for the camera!) There's so much work to do. I need to all of it situated first. On Wednesday, I'll be going out to see the new movie "Milk" with a few friends. I've been ecstatically looking forward to seeing this one, and I'll be offering up a full review of it as well. Have a flower . . . More to come soon. -g
"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.