The young and the young at heart

We have been experiencing some bitter, bitter cold of late, a rarity for our neck of the woods, especially as it’s not even technically winter.  I love all things winter, especially snow, and by day I have truly been in my element, even during dire, single digit temperatures. (In case you are wondering, the girls have a heated water fountain in their coop and seem to be coping just fine.)  That said, once nightfall arrives, I am loathe to venture out of my cozy abode.  But last night, Jack was to have a gig at a local divey bar with a jazz quintet he’s become a part of, and my hub and I were curious to see and hear what he’s been up to in his collegiate life.  And so we donned our woolen skivvies and down parkas and headed to town.

wild golf courses2

This quintet, which they call Wild Golf Course, is composed of all freshmen from the University of Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music. CCM is one of the finest music schools in the world and so it’s no surprise that these kids have some talent.  But what came as a surprise to me is how well they played together.  This was their first gig as a group and yet the energy was as if they had already gigged lifetimes together.

{if you are interested in hearing a bit of Jack’s playing nowadays, you can get a taste of it on this live album just released from my friend Kim Taylor.  $1 of every album cost goes to Recycled Doggies, a Cincinnati based rescue organization.  This was a GREAT concert and I think you’ll enjoy it immensely on this recording.  Kim Taylor: Live at the Monastery}

wild golf courses

While Jack’s band packed up, the next act came on stage, also composed of young musicians.  These guys were rappers, a genre of music I am mostly ignorant about and don’t necessarily listen to when left to my own devices.  But a good rapper, in a live setting, well that is just poetry to a beat and I will admit to enjoying the few songs we heard from this band (who’s name we didn’t catch)


We left these energetic young men to their enthusiastic audience and took our boy out for some chili cheese fries.  (good for the soul and warms the belly as well.)

rapper 2

Spending a couple of hours around these kids who are following their passions seemed to cement the theme of youthful, artful brilliance to the day that began with a video a friend shared…..


This young woman, Zina, was sadly lost to this world at the age of 23 in a hiking accident which took her life.  I’ve watched this video over and over, completely captivated by the sense of play and wonder in her work.  And there was much back and forth with friends and friends of friends, mostly middle aged like myself, about how we must inject more play and kindness and quirk into our own lives and be a little bit more like the Zina’s in the world.  I love how she wears goggles as part of her signature look and decided that I perhaps could use some goggles myself which have ‘reader’ lenses I have taken to wearing for finer work these days.  Why wear normal readers, when you can wear Steampunk Inspired Goggle Readers???

And I got to thinking and remembered that before I even came across Zina or her work through this video, I was prone to donning goggles when an eclipse happened upon us. (sadly, it wound up cloudy on this particular day, but nevertheless, I was ready.)

Goggly Amy

Zina was quoted in her blog:

“Perhaps, we should use our time in embracing who we truly are, without the expectations of who we should be through time. I am Zina… and I build robots, wear goggles, dress in costumes, play with toys, drink root beer at bars…. I may not be able to build a time machine, but I have found that we, ourselves, are our own time machines… the basic thread in every place we have been, every person who has interacted with us, and everything we have enjoyed, loved, and learned. I am glad I have taken the time to know who I am, and I will have nothing but respect for those who know themselves… and embrace who they are.”

I am so inspired by the young artists I encounter daily, in my life around here and on the inter-webs.  They are a constant reminder to stay young at heart.  I think I may make some Reader Goggles in honor of Zina’s spirit.  I’ll keep you posted on how they turn out.

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