Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for June, 2012


Brandi Carlile- Minnesota State Fair 2010
In 2010 I was lucky enough to get to see Brandi Carlile in concert at the State Fair and this was my picture from that evening with the blog post that it sparked:
You know like you do when you take a great picture, see great art, or hear a beautiful song. Every fiber of your being resonates with recognition and anticipation. You feel it all the way to your core leaving no room for doubt. When you come to the silent still places there is no objection, there is nothing but a resounding YES! from every fiber of your being.
Great art is like this, great writing, great friendships…
and great love should be too.
And last night I was blessed yet again to be able to see her live, this time at the Minnesota Zoo Amphitheater.  When I had gotten home I was still savoring the electric energy from the concert and looked up a few videos to prolong the experience.  It was so much fun seeing everyone at the concert singing along with gusto, watching people dance and jump up and down when their favorite song comes on.   The intimacy that is created when people share their hearts is simply beautiful, when they share their gifts and the crowd is willing to receive the music- it electrifies everything and everyone.
One of the most amazing moments of the evening was Brandi sharing her experience of being a young and budding artist and the influence that Lillith Fair had on her and how important it is to nurture young talent, to give back.  She had asked for someone in the audience who was a huge fan, under the age of 20, and someone who played guitar.  I was assuming that she was going to offer the experience of being able to play with her and instead when the nervous young girl stood there on stage next to her she smiled and said, “It’s yours.” And this young 19 year old woman stood in stunned silence as Brandi placed her guitar around her neck.  The entire amphitheater stopped breathing for a moment to witness this act of generosity, of belief, and then exploded into clapping and whistling as it hit everyone that she was absolutely serious.
It reminded me we have a responsibility, an opportunity to offer what we have to one another, it may not be from a big stage, or something  of that magnitude, but we still can share that sense of belief, that joy, passing along the opportunity to develop.  This young woman’s life is now changed… perhaps she will be an artist, perhaps not, but without a doubt this will be a milestone in her life and she has an even better story to tell.  And isn’t that what we do, collect stories, collect moments and share them long beyond the experience.
These are the words that I shared with a friend last night after watching this video of her song Hard Way Home.
That has to be the best feeling, when you get done doing a song and you look around and that moment where everyone’s eyes meet and you know that that was the track that you are going to put on the album, that was the song played the way it was supposed to be played, that was the moment when there was this incredible alchemy and the energy of the room wove itself around and through the music, the instruments, the vocals and the hearts… 
 
That is why people play music… and that is why people go to see it… for that moment…
 
Sigh… 
 
That is why I love live music.  Seeing that moment in person… feeling the energy rise, seeing them lose themselves in time and space, watching the smiles leap from deep within… pretty amazing.
Advertisements

Read Full Post »

I remember sitting in tears talking to a friend about something another had done wanting to know how they could be so hurtful, so cold, so insensitive, and she simply said softly: “Hurting people hurt.”

In some ways it reminds me of this poster:

Because no matter where you put the comma, the pause it is true… hurting people hurt… themselves, others and it can be really messy, and hard, and complicated.  And yet… taking responsibility for our hurts, for our places of pain can be one of the most courageous things we ever do.

What had started this whole thought was reading this beautiful quote from a wonderful book This I Know: Thoughts On Unravelling The Heart by Susannah Conway,  While I had read this quote recently and was touched by it in the reading, it showed up for me again in this interview by Brene Brown, and when things begin to show up time and time again I know that it means someone in my life (often me) needs to hear these words, to be reminded of this truth.  So as a part of my commitment to healing myself and the world I offer my thoughts, my musings, my questions, and the answers that as Rilke says “Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”  Perhaps together we can live into this beautiful work of healing our hurts, living with integrity, holding one another gently when we fall from grace and to come to love ourselves and one another through it all.

“I believe that by being the best and most healed version of ourselves we can truly make a difference in the world. I’m not an activist or politician, and I’m not able to have any direct impact on the areas of the world where help is needed. But what I can do is make a difference in the small pocket of the world I call home.

I can live with integrity and be honest about my feelings, even when they hurt. I can put my whole heart into my work and pay forward the generosity that was shown to me when my world fell apart. I can look after myself, knowing that by healing my own hurts I won’t be passing them on to anyone else. In a society like ours, filled with so many emotionally wounded people acting out their pain, this is possibly the most important work we could ever do—heal our hurts so we don’t pass them on.”

Read Full Post »

“Lighthouses don’t go running all over an island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining.”
― Anne Lamott

Another Erica experiment that I have been undertaking is what would it look like if I didn’t wear my superhero cape.  This can be somewhat difficult given that I have always identified myself as the “helper”.  In photos of me as a child I was always the one who at 3 years old was holding a baby half my size, I was the one who people would come to for help, for assistance, for comfort, for guidance.  And loved every minute of it, I lived to be able to be of service, to be able to comfort and save.  But there were also pieces that weren’t so wonderful.  By focusing on everyone else it often meant I neglected myself and my needs.  For a long time I didn’t even acknowledge that I had needs because I was so busy making sure everyone else’s were met.  I violated my own boundaries to maintain those of others, I allowed people to drink from my glass without taking the time to refill it and when I was empty wouldn’t go to another to help replenish but instead wonder why I felt tired, depleted and low energy.  And those around me often didn’t feel the love that I felt for them because I was to busy trying to save everyone at the expense of those closest to me.

After a series of “unfortunate events” I realized that I didn’t want to live like that any more.  That I had to figure out a new way of being of service, of giving, of being who I am, but also learning what that really meant.  Although I knew how to skillfully help other people live out who they were, to bring out the best of themselves I didn’t apply the same things to myself.

What would it look like if I didn’t believe I was here to save the world, but merely to participate in it.  What would it look like if I stood there and shone vs. running all over the island.  What would it look like if I invited people to save themselves and instead shone the light of love, compassion, space, and kindness and belief in their inherent worth and ability to save themselves.

Read Full Post »

Joy!

For years I have chosen focus words to help define and shape my years.

Lately I have been doing sort of theme months… and one of the words that has been coming back to me is Joy.

So I went on a scavenger hunt of sorts to find joy in my recent pictures and this is what I found:

Read Full Post »