If we were having coffee, we’d be wrapped up in sweaters and scarves wandering through the woods with no clear destination. We’d look up into the golden and red leaves and let out a long, contented sigh. Fall is at it’s most beautiful point here in Minnesota and I am loving every minute of it.
If we were having coffee, I’d apologize for being absent from the blogosphere. Today is my first full day off in three weeks–although I may have to go over and help give staff lunch breaks if the orchard is busy. Between working full time at the library and helping out at the family apple farm, free time has been sparse. When I DO have time to relax, the last thing on my mind has been writing. Which is okay. I miss you all, but sometimes you just need to step away from things if you don’t have the energy. I’m hoping to give blogging more attention when things settle down–and this includes finally updating my WordPress account to premium, getting my own domain, and customizing my site. Continue reading →
“Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent” Victor Hugo
There’s something about music that is essential to life. It reaches into our souls and expresses the inexpressible. I’ve always loved music and, after four years of failed piano lessons, played the flute in middle and high school. These days, I don’t do much in the way of music creation, but oh boy am I a consumer. Most of the music I now listen to isn’t played on the radio. Top 40, while catchy, doesn’t hold much appeal. I tend to favor indie-folk/rock–the kind of bands that you can see in small clubs for only $15.
If I had to choose a favorite song, it would have to be “Rivers and Roads” by The Head and the Heart.
The lyrics are deeply nostalgic, filled with a longing for times gone by. It’s a song about seasons and change, how people grow apart with time. The people who are near you now will someday be far away. Although we know it’s inevitable, it’s still heartbreaking. I feel like this song captures something we as humans all feel at some point in our lives. In my experiences and travels, I’ve made some very dear friends who are now very far away. Some are only an hour or two, others across the country, many across the world. When I listen to this song, I think of all the people I love.
As heartbreaking as the song is, it hangs on to hope. It ends with a repetition of the following lyrics:
Rivers and roads
Rivers and roads
Rivers ’til I reach you
There is distance between us, but distance can be crossed. It may take time and dedication, but it’s possible to reclaim what is lost. We may become separated from the ones we love, but we can never be disconnected entirely. The people I care about may be far. I miss them terribly, but there is hope. We will see each other someday. These ties are weakened over continents and years, but they are not and will never be lost.
Take a listen to the song and let me know what think. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
(Today’s assignment included a quote by Nietzsche, but I like Hugo’s better.)
This post is inspired by an assignment for the Blogging University class Writing 101: Finding Everyday Inspiration.
It’s finally starting to hit. One week left of class. After eight semesters of syllabi and English courses, I’m down to the final novel.
Walking around Morris has become strange. It’s a strange blend of normality and finality. I was working in the library and I realized that the ground floor, my safeguard and happy place for so many hours of essay writing, will be nothing more than a memory. This place where, for the past four years, I have grown and blossomed will soon be just another part of my past. For so many months, all I’ve wanted to do is leave. Now, on the verge of being uprooted, I’m finding that part of me wants to bask in warm in the soil of the familiar.
But, at the same time, I feel the pressing urge to move on. To push forward, not knowing what’s ahead. Because, if I stay… what would become of me?
I’m reminded of the lyrics to a song by The Head and the Heart:
One day we’ll all be ghosts Trippin’ around in someone else’s home One day we’ll all be ghosts, ghosts, ghosts
This place is no longer mine. These halls are not my own. They will soon belong to someone else. I have to move on, lest I become a ghost, trapped in the in-between with nowhere to go.
Being transplanted is painful. Especially when you don’t know what the future holds. Where will I next take root? I have no idea. I have a strong calling and an outline of a plan. Hopefully, that will be enough.
(In case you’re wondering, the final novel I’m reading is Wintering by Kate Moses)
As winter progresses in Minnesota, the days grow more and more bleak. I look outside and can’t even see the wind turbines due to the wintry haze. All I can see is a slushy parking lot and a snow-covered volleyball court. With a great deal of my time dedicated to writing essays and studying for next week’s final exams, daydreaming has become a constant practice. Last night, I had a dream I was back in Austria, exploring in the mountains with my friends.
Days like today bring out the travel bug in me. I was raised on cross-country road trips and fifteen hour drives. Packing a bag, getting in my car, and driving somewhere far away just for the sake of adventure is incredibly appealing.
However, since taking such a spontaneous trip is impossible at the moment, I thought I’d share some songs that bring out my wanderlust.
I love music. I love good music. I love good music live.
When I heard about this great new music festival in the Twin Cities, it only seemed natural to go.
This year marks the first year of Festival Palomino, a day of music put on by Minnesota band Trampled by Turtles. It took place at Canterbury Park in Shakopee and had tons of fun indie rock/folk bands.
Although the heavy crowds didn’t show up until later in the day, my friend Eva and I arrived around two, just in time for the first band. Most of the afternoon was spent sitting in the grass soaking in the summer sun, talking and enjoying music. We wandered around, looking at the merch tables and food vendors.
It was a great day for people watching, as events like this draw in all the hipsters. I got a bit envious of all the lovely flannels (even though I have a healthy stock of my own in my apartment) and wondered at the meaning behind all the interesting tattoos.
At around four o’clock, a big thunderstorm hit that forced everyone indoors. Eva and I parked on a bench for two hours where we chatted and did more people watching. I ran into a guy I knew from high school, and she bumped into a former roommate.
At one point during the storm, a lady approached our bench. Impatiently, she looked down at us and said, “We’re leaving. Do you want our food tickets?” Naturally, we said yes, and she handed over seventeen little squares of paper. Later, we splurged on two pieces of pizza each and a shared Ben & Jerry’s cone. Free food, for the win!
Now, if you remember my list of influential albums from a few weeks ago, you’ll know that I love The Head and the Heart. You can probably imagine my excitement at finally getting to see them live! Eva and I were right up close, about twenty feet from the stage. They were PHENOMENAL. Oh my goodness. They sound just as good, if not better, live than on their albums. One of my favorite things about them is that the main singer (the one in the middle on my photos) is a natural performer. The way he gestured and sang certain words reminded me of the storytellers in old folk stories. The sun was setting as they played, and I was sucked in by the words and the music.
The Head and the Heart
The Head and the Heart
The headliner and sponsor of the concert was, of course, Trampled by Turtles. I will admit, I only dabble in their music. There’s just so much out there that I’m never sure what to listen to. During their set (which was over an hour) I only knew a couple of songs. We were not as close to the stage this time around (having given up our spots in favor of food). But I still enjoyed them immensely. You can’t be a Minnesota indie folk music fan and not see Trampled live. It’s something you just have to do, and I’m so glad I did!
Because it was so hot during the afternoon, Eva and I both forgot to bring our sweaters into the festival. In the evening, after the sun set, we rather regretted this decision. Standing in the crowd, pressed uncomfortably close to strangers, certainly helped. But at one point, while shivering away, I said to Eva, “I know how to get warm. We just have to knock out a hipster and steal their flannel. Goodness knows there’s plenty of them to choose from.”
No hipsters were harmed, don’t worry. But the temptation was real.
Here is the second half of my list of influential albums!
6. Rend Collective, Campfire (2013)
You can’t work at a Bible camp and not get addicted to Rend Collective. Although I’ve only been listening to them for a few months, their folksy worship has more than captured my heart. And, seriously, how cool is it that they recorded an entire album around a campfire?
7. The Head and the Heart, self titled album (2010)
These guys were my foray into the indie-folk genera. I heard “Rivers and Roads” and fell imedietly, hopelessly in love. Of both their albums, there’s not a song I don’t like.
8. Jenny & Tyler, Faint Not (2010)
I discovered this husband and wife duo in my sophomore year of college through an ad in my Facebook sidebar. Normally, I ignore those ads, but something made me click. And, oh boy, I’m so happy I did. Jenny & Tyler’s music is incredibly encouraging has seen me through some of the darkest times of my life (thus far).
9. Needtobreathe, The Reckoning (2011)
Needtobreathe was on my iPod for years before I actually touched them. And, when I finally did, I fell hard. It was one of those, “Where have you been my whole life?” moments. Although all their albums are fantastic, I decided to go with The Reckoning because it was the first one I listened to and has some of my favorite tracks.
10. Cloud Cult, Unplug (2014)
Cloud Cult is another one of my recent obsessions. They did an acoustic show at my school last Spring and I’ve been listening to them ever since. Their music has a lot of variety, but my favorite is definitely their acoustic album. When this song, “Pretty Voice”, comes on when I’m driving, I will listen to it three times in a row just because I’m so obsessed with it.
And that concludes my list of music albums that have impacted my life! Don’t forget to check out the first half of the list.
Now, readers, I pass this challenge on to you! What albums have influenced you and why? Answer in the comments, or use this as a prompt!