Before the Next Chapter of Summer

Hiya from the between-ness, too-muchness and not-enoughness of summer!  I find myself between travels with too much on my plate in the way of keeping life going, doing all the things (fun and necessary, etc) while craving more of other things such as quietude and depth…. It is summer.  This is the arc of the year as I have come to know it and I lean into it, with new skills and capacities stemming from recent practices of self care.

For the next few months, until this blissful Summer of All The Things has come to a close, I am terminating any charges to Patreon Members.  (beginning august, apparently, according to the gods of patreon)  This way I will write and post when I can, feel no guilt when I can’t, and the summer can roll on as it will.  There are a lot of plates in the air.  Art being made and considered.  Writing, always writing.  Another couple of workshops coming down the pike in the next weeks.  One is happening locally, a rarity!  Tomorrow evening.

Meanwhile, fear not Patreons!!  My dear friend and fellow artist Robin Ewers Carnes has been assisting me in getting some printed beauties made which I will be packaging and sending to you all upon my return from travels.  So all is not lost.  I am embracing being on the road for now and the spaciousness it brings to being back home once more.

Last I left you, we had crafted some charcoal around a backyard fire and I was experimenting with the results.  Those experiments continue.

I am REALLY pleased with these little bits and bobs.  Perhaps they will become a series.  Perhaps they will lead to different things as I play with images I love the most – those of musicians.  Above are a couple of drawings featuring pipers Kara Doyle and Cathy Wilde.  Cathy is my piping teacher locally, Kara is an on-line piping mentor whom I hope to meet one day in person.  They are both the bees knees.

This interplay between drawing and painting is of interest to me.  I like it’s looseness and process.  The not knowing ahead of time quite what I might come up with.  I like the dance of light and shadow.

Music forever feeds me more deeply than most things and I enjoy the chance to have a tune with friends, be they here at home, out in Taos when I am teaching, or even next week at the Swannanoa Gathering!  I embark on another week at “band camp” this weekend and am already grinning at the prospect of re-union with my Flutilla family.  How did I get so fortunate????

I made some new stickers and many of them are already spoken for.

In the world of music, there are many tiers.  From my own at the folky level of “play with your friends, have a lovely time, maybe get paid with beer money when an Irish holiday rolls around”, all the way up to the level of Taylor Swift.

Tay Tay rolled into town this past weekend and basically set the stage for how the next generation plans to get stuff done.

photo thanks to Caitlin Mulkie

Everything I have heard about this concert series, which spanned two nights and has been economically compared to “if Michael Jackson AND the Beatles had come to town for a few days”, has been nothing but positive.  From all ages.  From many walks of life.  Folks have simply marveled at how Taylor and her team came to town and got the job done.  I have not heard a single negative about this event being in our city.  And that is saying something!!  (Side note, her bassist up there, Amos, used to play with my best friend Kim.  I am simply thrilled for him and his talent to have made it to this big stage!!  And…. he still looks like he is having so much fun.  How art making should be!!)  These folks navigated weather issues, satisfied merch hungry outer-loop fans.  Taylor (and, I’m sure, ‘team’)  kept everyone informed at every turn how things were going online, any changes that could be expected.  It was life at full speed, Taylor style.  From afar, it was AMAZING to witness.  We had a few Swifties of our own in town to support.  Madeleine and some friends descended upon Chez Beauguarde for a weekend of memories.  This generation of young people have grown up with the music of this young woman growing up right along with, and just ahead of, all of them.

Time and time again, Taylor Swift was underestimated by the industry, only to jump genres and prove the big-wigs wrong….. again….. and again…. and AGAIN!!!!!!  This woman has been the sound track to a generation (and then some because…. let’s be frank, time does pass and more quickly than we realize!!)  Many of us mark our lives through music and as a mom, I am so thankful that my kids had Taylor.

the day after. ha!!

At the end of the weekend, there was a fair amount of glitter to tidy up.  Not a new phenomenon to an Irish dance mom.  I had to chuckle at how things change, yet stay the same in so many ways.  I was delighted that the kids had something so close which brought them so much joy.

Days rolled on, concerts into baseball games.  Baseball games (boom boom) into fourth of July (boom boom!!)

The past couple of days have been stressful.

This poor girl, whom we’ve raised from puppyhood and seriously has very few “issues”, has found her nemesis in the presence of fireworks so ubiquitous to this country at this time of year.
We keep the “white noise” app on ocean, at full blast, a lot of the time in recent days.  It breaks my heart.

Dogs don’t have the ability to mask stress, to pretend they are ok.  When they feel joy, we see it.   When they feel terror, we see it.  How much better would the world be if we just met these things in healthier ways ourselves?   Maybe we could do better as humans.  Be more ourselves when we feel things.  Be more introspective at the anniversary of our incredible yet flawed and ever-improving nation.  Are we even capable of this?

Today I went into the concertina shop to finish up a few things that needed doing before I am off again, after which Tony, Phil and I wandered down to Rabbit Hash, Kentucky where we sipped a beer, sketched awhile and enjoyed the ”Merica'” culture vibe so readily available there.

I gave this wee sketch to the subjects who inspired it and they seemed delighted.  There was not a “trump” sign to be seen, nor a “FJB” one either.  It was refreshing honestly.  It was nice to be out on a warm summer’s day with my fellow humans.

We then took the ferry across the river for a quick bite in Rising Sun before heading home to stay  ahead of the dreaded fireworks.

If I have one sad regret about the rest of the travels this summer, it’s that I will miss our Phil.

She comes along with us to Taos and it’s just the BEST!!  Like bringing a bit of home along with me for the working.  But she can’t go everywhere.  And we are lucky to have folks ready to step in and live here with her so she can take care of the garden, chase her ball and yes, roll in fox shite.  It’s true, contrary to multiple reports, this dog is not perfect.  Alas, who among us is?

(Also, fox shite is THE most vile thing. )

And now off we go, into this wondrous summer of summers.  North Carolina for music, Maine for a dose of ocean, Soul Family and rest, then IRELAND! for the final workshop of this wild year.

It all looks a lot like jet-setting.  And a lot of it is!!  I’ll not lie, I love the work and traveling I do.  I am so thankful for this!  And (because two -and more- things can be true at the same time) it’s a TON of management and work.  Come autumn will be a season of resting, of catching up with my trusty Patrons here who have been supporting this work amidst its ebbing and flowing.  (With gifts!!  I promise!!)  There are whispers of a westward trek of soul-caliber-quality later in September.  I shall keep patrons informed of these whisperings as they are likely to be the deeper things more suited to the fireside and which might not find themselves on the interwebs.  There is a balance to all things.

Thank you all as usual for reading, whether you are a “patron” properly or somehow just found yourself here on my little corner of the interwebs.  You are welcome.  At any level.

More soon, as I can.

lead with kindness….. always. ~amy

ps, “knee high to the 4th of july” it is said.  I think we are doing ok.


Comments (6)

  • Penny July 5, 2023 - 11 months ago

    I always thought Tony was outstanding in any field he chose . This was all lovely and necessary. Thank you.

    • amy July 5, 2023 - 11 months ago

      Ha! Isn’t that a funny photo?? He is outstanding in his field 🙂

  • Julie July 5, 2023 - 11 months ago

    See you soon in the magical mountains! Flutilla forever! Julie ❤️☘️

    • amy July 17, 2023 - 10 months ago

      It was SOOOO good to catch up with you at Swannie Julie! And the swims were divine! I appreciate you being my swimming buddy! Miss you already my friend.

  • Mary Oliver July 7, 2023 - 11 months ago

    The Taylor tribute touched my heart. I just love her and all of the Swifties (including Jay😂) so much!! The world needs more glitter.

    • amy July 17, 2023 - 10 months ago

      She’s such a force! We are fans for sure. Feminine Power!!!!!!


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