Archive for July, 2015

Why you should ask us for a favor

Thursday, July 30th, 2015

In the past few weeks we have pushed our boundaries a bit. It has been a really good thing. But to be honest, it wasn’t our own initiative that made this happen. We were asked to play some shows that made us work different creative muscles.

Two friends, who happen to be talented musicians asked us to play some songs with them. Louisa asked that we learn a bunch of cover songs (songs written by other people).  We don’t do that very often. It tested our skills, made us use our brains differently, made our hands seek out patterns that we don’t automatically play on our instruments, made our voices find melodies we don’t often sing. Wendy challenged us to play some of her songs. She specifically chose songs that were easy to learn but they have a very different vibe and style than our stuff. She challenged our comfort zone and emotional space a little. We got to play with a band, and had to learn how to play well with others.

We were also asked to play some shows with special themes. We did not have the right song to fit the situation so we wrote them. No one asked us to write these songs, but they inspired us in other ways. When Katherine told us about the theme of the first show she also mentioned that she was rehearsing to perform at a memorial service for which she was asked if she might play some songs in a certain style. It was just a request, but she wanted to do it even though it wasn’t a style she usually played. She reminded us that it is nice to give some extra effort and care. It was enough of a push for us to write a new, appropriate song. Finally, Mark invited us to play an event and his desire to make the event special and meaningful really inspired us. He didn’t ask us to write anything new, but he made us want to, and we did.

We are home for a couple of weeks with new songs, new ideas, and renewed energy and spirit. Thanks to the friends that gave us those gifts.

So come on, ask us.

Christine (and Aidan, down the hall working hard)

Little Luxuries

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015

As if six weeks off during summer isn’t luxurious enough, I found an extra little luxury.

We always have a vegetable garden. It is a bit crazy given our traveling schedule, but we take a leap of faith, throw seeds in the ground, and hope for the best. I always have confidence that something will grow. I have confidence that some one will harvest. I have hope that sometimes I will be the one harvesting. But a summer at home is a rare and wonderful thing… zucchini, tomatoes, peppers, garlic, peaches, blueberries, blackberries. We don’t have a lot of space so I try to pull out whatever is done producing and replant quickly. But laziness has been the main luxury this summer. With all the abundance, I let some of the small beds languish.

The arugula arugula podwent to flower, small white blooms. I had never seen them before. They taste good and have been a beautiful little garnish on our plates. Then it went to seed pod. Yes, seed pod. Who knew? They are also edible (I hope, we ate them, we are still here), a concentrated arugula spiciness. Little luxuries indeed.

There is a lesson here, I think. I am impatient. I believe in efficiency of work. No doubt, I miss things. In other words haste and efficiency create waste and inefficiency. In still other words I might be controlling one thing, but all of the other related things are spinning in wild chaos.

I hope you have an outstanding summer. Let some of your beds languish. Experience the little luxuries.