Last night we had two young friends come for drinks.
We were all in the yard and we kept away from each other as best we could.
The young pair live together, and have been very diligent in their isolation since the beginning of quarantine back in March.
We had my son and my oldest daughter Nina with us, and both of them have traveled on airplanes in the past month, so there was some danger of passing germs.
I tell myself I have antibodies to the Virus because of my illness in March and April.
Am I sure? No. I haven't paid for an antibodies test.
The test could present a conundrum if it's negative but I think it's wrong.
Instead I proceed with caution.
I use extreme caution when the people I'm with are afraid.
None of us were extremely afraid, but we were all serious about sitting across the lawn at an unnatural distance, and about a separate cheese platter for the visiting couple, and other gestures in accordance with the best practices for the times.
We did not however wear masks.
You just can't drink your vino verde and your rosé with a mask on, but all the more reason then to sit very far apart in the yard.
Luckily Rob's backyard is spacious, and it's pretty because of me.
The party was fun and lovely.
I felt like the mother I like to be, providing an elegant but very attainable example of joyful living for my children and their friends.
Also, I wore a dress I've been saving.
It's a rainbow print cotton long maxi dress, very hippie vibe, with a plunging neckline and a sash at the waist.
It's from a Southern California company called Billabong.
I wore it bare foot with big hoop earrings and bare feet with turquoise blue painted toenails.
Of course I did.
And my hair is long and blonde now which fits the hippie vibe too.
I had a vision during a guided meditation recording a while back that my best self was walking up to greet my present self.
I was very surprised to see that my best self was tanned and toned, had very long blonde and grey streaked hair and was wearing a wonderful bikini.
My best self was on a beautiful beach in perfect summer weather.
I didn't see that coming.
But last night, even though we were in the little city neighborhood of Longfellow in the city of Minneapolis, with no beach in sight, I had the glimpse of my future best self beginning to emerge.
I'm not gonna fight it.
I'm not gonna fight anything.
Let time march on.
I'm full of wonder.
I'll be sixty years old in February.
At our little party we all asked each other if we're better off than we were one year ago.
My answer was a massive resounding YES.
But then we all asked each other whether we thought we'd be better off a year from now.
Surprisingly to me every one of us confidently answered that they were fairly sure they would be better off a year from now.
I was asked last.
I had to be honest.
I am having the best summer I've had in a long long time.
I'm not sure that next year will be better than this.
What will happen to me when the unemployment compensation ends?
What will happen to me if the government doesn't renew the unemployment but I still can't make money consistently as a performer?
What will happen to me if I need to get a job doing something else to cover the income I've been making first as a performer and then the last several months on unemployment?
I've saved up enough to start my new album but we haven't started it yet.
I really don't have an answer, we just haven't.
I'm scared, to be sure.
Taylor Swift and many many others are puting out albums with titles like "Quaratine Dream".
Songwriters are putting out work they wrote since March of this year.
Well, I'm not writing an album about the Virus experience anyway so there's no rush.
Taylor Swift's album is beautiful and it isn't about the Virus at all.
She has a lot of help though.
She has people writing with her, helping her flesh out song ideas.
I don't have that at all.
I could get that.
I could reach out to others.
Bob Dylan doesn't do that.
His new album says "all songs written by Bob Dylan".
That's what I prefer for the type of songwriter I endeavor to be.
So I'll either finish all these songs or I won't.
But the money I've saved up could end up being spent on survival instead of recording.
That would be bad.
I'm holding off on starting the record partly to see if I'm going to continue getting government support.
One more comment about this.
The Canadian government gives financial support to their songwriters even in more normal times.
They give tour support, recording support, radio support, living support.
Isn't that remarkable?
They don't want their songwriters to have to move to America to make it in the music business.
After all, they have a fabulous legacy of songwriting greats like Joni Mitchell and Gordon Lightfoot and Neil Young, many of whom did move to the States.
All to say, I hope to be able to make the new album of my dreams this year.
I hope to be able to make the new album of my dreams this year.
I'm gonna say it again, I hope and plan to make a new album this year.
And then 2021 will be better than this year was.
The new recordings will propel me forward the way new recordings always have for me.
I'm praying for the songs.
I'm praying for my new songs to finish themselves in their own good time.
I believe in them.