A brief update. Since the beginning of summer we've had our cousins visit from Hawaii, we've done a week of Vacation Bible School, Jon and I went on a couples retreat for a week, the boys went to Boy scout camp, church camp, cub scout camp, we chaperoned a group of 11 high schoolers on a 9 day trip to NYC (driving), and in between there have been work shifts and gigs. It's been a really busy summer.
Today is one of the rare days when I'm home all morning. There are chores to do, but not yet.
Right now I'm listening to the rough mix from last night's session with Darrell Scott while the house still sleeps. Sam has been up and out detasselling for over an hour and I couldn't get back to sleep. Instead, I stayed up, I put on the coffee and I'm listening to this track.
This feels like one of those moments where I need to stop, look back down the mountain to that place far off where I started, feel the breeze, smile and look up at the sky. I should stretch my arms out wide and send up prayers of thanksgiving. It feels unreal, but it's real.
I sing with Darrell all the time. In my car. And I sing all of them real good. Theatre of the Unheard, Family Tree, Aloha from Nashville, Crooked Road, Modern Hymns, Couchville Sessions, Long Ride Home, Invisible Man, Live in NC ("the one and only Kenny Malone"). Everybody knows he's my favorite songwriter. Everybody knows he's my favorite voice. And I've spent years driving down the road singing his songs with the windows down.
Now we're singing together for reals on one of my songs for my upcoming album. I'm listening to our voices sing together. It's bananas. It's the best kind of, "How did I get here?" bananas that I can imagine. And I'm crying and praying I remember this moment of wonder before the the clock strikes twelve.
Earlier this week I was fielding emails and texts about my record while sweating and supervising cub scouts at camp. Now I'm home and trying to record the last couple of takes we need before going into the mixing sessions next week.
Making a record while trying to do the rest of life at the same time has been crazy and awesome and I couldn't have done any of it without friends like Darrell, Emily White, Emily Dunbar, Lisa Smith, my husband, Jon, my long suffering kids, and so many others helping me along the way.
Sometimes I dream of just doing music. I dream of being able to wake up and pour myself a cup of coffee and then get to work on songs. Fewer and fewer people get to do that these days. I'm grateful that in the midst of life, the songs showed up anyway and I was able to capture them in the small spaces I was given.
All this is to say that we've all got a point far off in the distance that's calling to us. Each one of those places is unique to you and your journey. The step you take today is the step you need to get closer to that end point. That might mean going on a walk, picking up a pen, turning off the TV, going to the art supply store, tilling up a garden, getting that crazy hair cut, buying that plane ticket, or signing up to volunteer for the first time. Rome wasn't built in a day. And neither were you. Give yourself time. And give yourself a break.
I'm beating myself up that I'm not writing anything. I love writing songs and I can't find the time or space to do anything. But beating myself up ain't gonna force the flood gates open. Instead I'm gonna delight in this amazing gift of song. This amazing World of Wonder. You're in it. You're part of it. You've got something burning in you probably. I know I do.
When you've got a minute, be bold enough to take hold of it. Remember, getting hold it comes before getting a handle on it. Getting a handle on it comes before getting the hang of it. Getting the hang of it comes with time.
You got this. Nashville by next week is hard to believe, but that's the step I'm taking. And now I'm gonna listen to me and Darrell sing again. Over and over again. Peace.