Conversation Yesterday With Ava

My daughter Ava is brilliant and beautiful and people like her a lot. She has had many options since she graduated from college a few years ago.

She is a horse woman through and through and for a while she was a horse trainer in Colorado, training young horses, training aspiring equestrians of all ages too.

She made enough money to survive but her work was affected by holidays, snow storms, people's changing plans. Sometimes I helped her out when she couldn't pay her bills.

She got an idea that she wanted her own apartment, maybe that was the start of the change. No more living with a female room mate, a boyfriend, or her parents. Her own nice apartment.

She started applying for "real jobs", "regular jobs", "desk jobs".

She landed one in Denver and it's a whopper!

She has her own apartment and didn't need anyone to co-sign.

She is working very hard but she says that she loves the structure and high expectations. Plus she loves that the office is very hip and full of young ambitious people who are fun and funny. 

Okay, so that's the awesome news about Ava.

She called me yesterday and we "decorated" her new apartment by facetime on our phones.

She asked me how I was doing, and when Ava listens she really listens.

I told her that the audiences on my recent tour were my best yet. I also said that the money was enough to pay for everything and pay Rob and I was able to cover my health insurance and all my basic bills, but there was nothing beyond that. So I'm back to survival mode.

She said, "Mom, but you just went all around performing to rooms full of people in Europe who love your music. That's a huge thing."

I agreed. It's hard to hold it in your heart when you're back in snowy Minneapolis and there isn't enough money for more than basic groceries.

I told her that I taught a mentoring session that day and took our family dog for a long walk along the Mississippi.

She said, "Mom, you're making a choice to be able to go for the long walk, to work on your writing, to practice your music. Hardly anyone has that kind of freedom."

She talked about how much freedom she had when she worked as a free lance horse trainer.

She talked about how she works ten hour days almost every day now.

She said that she doesn't want to have this lifestyle of five days a week ten hours a day forever but she is enjoying the structure and the rewards.

She said that the young people at her work look happy but that some of the older people look unhealthy from the routine.

Trade offs.

We agreed that life has trade offs.

No free lunch.

My other daughter who's a songwriter and performer, Nina, recently watched the Lady Gaga documentary.

Rob and I watched it during our tour.

Nina and I agreed that Lady Gaga's level of fame includes a huge personal price tag that doesn't appeal to either of us even though we appreciate her work and even though we both take our own music seriously.

"Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

Kris Kristofferson was probably right. So was Janice Joplin when she sang these words.

But nothing left to lose is beautiful freedom from grasping, palm open.

My dad was a stock broker. He used to say, "Another day, another dollar."

Maybe another dollar to give to the homeless guy who stands out in the snow on Hiawatha and 46th.

I have a lot to lose.

I have everything I need.

I have these beautiful relationships in my life.

I have the gift of the music.

I am rich.


Arina's Cafe March 2018 

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