Happy in Minneapolis

Yesterday I was so happy in Minneapolis. It was really hot outside, it felt like nearly 100 degrees Fahrenheit. But I had so many nice experiences strung together that I didn't care.

First of all (and if you don't like fashion just skip this paragraph), I was wearing a white lace sleeveless mini dress so I felt pretty cool, and I felt like I looked pretty cool too. So that helped. And I've been carrying around this little banana yellow leather backpack with black and white ticking fabric lining, made by Frye boot company, and that little backpack is a true delight. I have a bunch of little decorative pins on it in mixed metals and turquoise, the pins are from Free People. That little backpack kind of makes my day every time I use it. (If you want to see what it looks like, there's a photo of it from yesterday on my Instagram page which has a link on this blog page off to the right.)

Secondly, I wasn't performing and I wasn't on tour but I got to spend the evening in the company of the great Rob Genadek. He's really fun to be with and usually he's working and out with clients when we're in Minneapolis so I don't see him very much...even though I live at his house.

The first part of the day yesterday I worked on a song that I've been commissioned to write by a fan and supporter of my music. The song really came together yesterday morning. For days I've been going between trying to write it with a guitar and trying to sing it to myself out on walks with my dog or out riding my bicycle. I made many small recordings of just my voice on my phone's small recording app. But suddenly yesterday morning before I got dressed or anything, just drinking a cup of coffee and sitting crosslegged on my bed with a pile of plain white loose leaf paper and a couple of colored markers and a guitar lying beside me but not in use, I got the song, really by divine inspiration. The song that had been vague and not structured, not much of a thing at all, suddenly became a song. It was like staring at the pieces of an intricate jigsaw puzzle where you can't make out what the final picture will be, you only see some blue and some green, and then as you work on the puzzle, you see that it's a painting of an oceanside with blue water and green hills beyond. The song became three verses and a chorus and then a wonderful bridge that is my favorite part. To feel that I could write a satisfying song again, just then, on any given Saturday morning, was very affirming to me.

Then I walked my dog Aidan on the Mississippi trail.

Then I went out to a party with Rob G. The party was at the home of a good friend of Rob's who I also have known and and have been very fond of for years. The group of people were of a wide variety of ages and I felt such a strong feeling of connection to all of the people I spoke with. A veterinarian from Sheffield in Yorkshire. A world famous photographer from Northern Minnesota. A man who was given up by his farmer father at age thirteen and sent to an orphanage called "Boystown" in North Dakota because there were eight children and the mother had died, which wasn't a good enough excuse, but the man said that he had met his wife just after being "released" at age eighteen and that meeting her saved his life and they'd been together for fifty some years now and had children and were happy together. What a good story. And there were many more. Also, the back yard of the house was much more the way the Europeans, and to me especially my German friend Heike, have a "garden" and not just an ordinary old back yard. This homeowner friend of ours had all sorts of lovely plants doing all sorts of lovely things...he even had espaliered apple trees against his garage walls which were covered in ripe apples! It was a wonderful experience for me to be in Minneapolis and to feel as alive and grateful for companionship and the creativity of others as I so often feel when I'm out on tour. 

The next thing we did was we drove over to Sakana which is a sushi bar we both like in Rob's neighborhood. It was late enough that the sun was down and we sat on their patio under little strings of colored lights and had a great time. Our waiter turned out to be a guy we knew before, from some years ago, when my children and I used to go out for sushi near where we lived. He had often been our waiter there, so last night we had so much fun catching up with him about all the things he had done and we had done since we last saw him.

Lastly, Rob and I came back to his house and lit the candles out on the front porch. We sat with my little dog on Rob's lap, having iced lemonade, talking quietly about all the people we'd seen. A delightful neighbor who was raised in Amsterdam and had just returned from a trip with his wife and children to Ibiza and Paris, came up on the porch and talked with us around ten pm. We hadn't seen him since we had arrived back from our recent tour in Europe so we compared notes about our travels.

For me, this day, yesterday, that I describe to you, is my idea of heaven on earth. And for days like this I give thanks. Is it so much that this day was extraordinary, or is it mostly just that I am able to see clearly now the beauty of life?

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