There is a seismic shift occurring in my life.
Maybe it's happening to others as well right now, I can only speak for myself though.
I am seeing the old sets of sustainments crumbling before me.
Three plus years ago I came from New York to lick my wounds and stop being suicidal.
Rob didn't know what to do with me.
At first he told me I had to keep a place of some kind, even a rented room, for myself in NYC if I was going to stay with him.
We both thought that me being in New York was important to my development as an artist and as a person.
Two of my three children lived there then.
None of my children lived in Minneapolis any more.
But my mother was in Minneapolis, Rob was in Minneapolis, and a few key female friends were in Minneapolis.
I didn't have a fan base.
I sort of didn't have a fan base anywhere.
I had scattered fans in many places, but no contingency anywhere.
So, I came to Minneapolis and I tried to keep a toehold in New York, but I had no steady income and I was praying for my career efforts to take hold somehow and for my first novel to get a big book deal.
I was living on fumes from my divorce.
I maxed out my credit cards as you have heard before.
I was miserable.
I gave up on the toehold in New York.
I sold the last of my furniture and precious things from being a doctor's wife and stay home mother for fifteen years.
It's always been the same old story, as Cat Stevens says.
I was reckless and irresponsible and unrealistic.
I can't change any of that.
So, here I am, three years later.
I've put out two new albums during this time.
I've done many weeks of touring, everywhere, including both coasts of the US and much of Europe.
I've played many many shows, over a hundred per year.
I've built a small but loyal fanbase in the Twin Cities.
I have made enough money to help with the utilities bills at Rob's house.
I've been able to pay my minimum payments to slowly reduce my debts.
I've made many good relationships and few enemies, if any at all.
But, here I sit this morning with new challenges before me.
The several people who have helped me by buying my music, hiring me to consult or do commissioned work for them, teach their children basic music lessons, work with them on their songwriting and more, these people have all but disappeared.
Most of them I've worked with for the whole three years I've been here.
Maybe it has all just run it's course.
Each of these people has different reasons for not continuing, and I think only one has become dissatisfied with me.
Most have new circumstances, changes in their own money or time or desires.
But just the same, it feels like a massive shift.
Where does it lead me?
Where does it leave me?
I have the luxury and the privilege of continuing to live at Rob's house.
My daughter Nina is here too so we are banding together, making things work.
I have a tour planned for Europe,with tickets purchased.
I have 500 cds printed for me by one of the generous souls I've been working with.
I am planning to make t shirts but don't know how to pay for that, but I will do it somehow because I can sell those I'm pretty sure.
I need to figure out how to do this better.
The wolf is constantly at the door.
I need to get a record label to work with me.
Or I need to develop stronger support systems for my music through fan funding.
I know that both of these options are difficult to achieve but necessary to my survival as an artist.
And I want to keep being a full time artist.
Maybe you have read this far and you're saying, "Oh my God lady, the writing is on the wall. I can't listen to your complaining any more. Give up! Go get a real job like everybody else."
Well, if you are saying that, I don't disagree with you.
And I hear those words every day and every night in my own head.
But I'm not ready to turn the Mayflower around and try to paddle all the way back to England my friend.
I can see the New World ahead of me and I know that turning around and heading back toward where I came from is almost certain death for me.
I see myself on the stage of the Newport Folk Festival.
I see myself on a tour bus with a full backing band and a real ticket price.
I see myself putting out a new album next year of the best original songs I've ever written.
That's what I'm staying alive for.
That and my friends and family and fans.
Love to you today.
I'm grateful to be alive.
I'm grateful for you too.