Last week there was no blog, because my partner and I were at the Rocky Mountain Song School at Planet Bluegrass in Lyons, CO. I spent the week almost entirely unplugged: away from my phone, not thinking about work, not focusing so hard on the news. It was…
Well, it was incredible, really. I didn’t get a lot of writing done (there are classes pretty much all the time, and they’re all fascinating, and it’s impossible to get to all of them), but I learned so much. I met so many amazing, beautiful people doing amazing, beautiful work. We talked about songwriting generally, but also about songwriting as survival, as resistance, as revolution. We held space for each other, cheered each other on and pushed each other to do better.
I’ve never been in a new place around so many new people and felt so safe to be myself.
It was an amazing experience. I don’t have adequate words to describe it.
The road trip there and back was pretty great, too, although we did have some moments in small towns where we didn’t feel so safe (being an obviously queer couple in small town rural America can be frightening). I remembered, once we were finally in Colorado, that getting out of the city and into nature sometimes is essential to my mental health. It’s a thing that’s easy to forget in the convenience of living in Chicago, where I can get everything else I need, but it’s important.
I’m going to be processing what I learned and working on the new songs I started for a few months, I think. I can’t wait to go back next year!
It’s road trip time!
When this post goes live, my partner and I should be a little over halfway to Minnesota, where we’ll spend the weekend running around like mad people getting caught up with friends and family as much as we’re able to in the space of three days.
It’s a beautiful time of year for a road trip. I imagine as you’re reading this that we’re enjoying some gorgeous fall colors as we drive through Wisconsin. The weather’s cool enough to wear all the knitted things. Really, this might be my favorite time of year.
I tend to deal with a fair amount of pre-travel anxiety, and this week is no exception. There’s always too much to get done before we leave, and never enough time to do it all. But I know the payoff is always worth it.
I get to see my nephew this weekend. I get to give him his Yoda hat (which I finished Tuesday night, a whole 30 hours before our departure), and see in person just how much bigger he’s gotten since the beginning of August. I know he’s getting to the age where stranger anxiety is a thing, so I’m nervous that he won’t like me. I want us to be buddies.
This trip marks the last time I’ll be renting a car under this name. So that’s exciting.
It’s also the last time I’ll probably make it to Minnesota this calendar year…probably the last trip for quite some time. Starting next month, we want to really cut back on our spending (particularly what we spend going out to eat), and I want to start seriously paying down my credit card debt, so I don’t really know when our next trip will be. I hope I can keep that in mind this weekend and take full advantage of the time we have in our home state.
Hopefully next week I’ll come back with some interesting stories (and maybe even a few pictures)!