But that thwarted tour left a space—a hunger, a craving—to travel, to share my music, and spend precious time with my dog, Nira, who is one of the great joys of my life. This is difficult to do safely in the midst of a global pandemic! And thus, “Me, My Dog and My Guitar, Take 2,” was born, the seed of an idea I hope to grow, nurture and cultivate over the next two months of winter lockdown in New Mexico, “wintering” as I have been alone inside the adobe walls of my Albuquerque casita.
Normally, my inspiration for songs comes from people, cowrites, and daily interactions in the community I live in. These things, in my current universe, have all but disappeared for now: what happens if I turn my attention away from people and, in the spirit of socially-distanced artmaking, toward the exquisite beauty of the outdoors, instead? How might these parks speak to me, in the form of songs, stories, melodic fragments and poems, and how might I then share this place-inspired work with others?
To be sure, there are also lots of fears. Will I be able to write, and the proverbial songwriter’s question: will I feel “inspired”? Will the self-isolation feel too intense? One way I will address this is through allowing myself to write unfinished songs, place-based fragments that are written in that place, and thus, are “done for now,” because they are a product of the place that inspired them. Thus, I am saying “yes” to what might not feel finished yet, to replenishing the artistic well for now, but also perhaps for later. It is a privilege to have the mental space to even consider such a journey, with so much in flux in so many American lives at this moment. This is a combined product of my own set of privilege, both inherited and bestowed after birth: my own economic and skin-color privilege, and the fact that I have a job with more geographic mobility than most.
~I have already had some precious interlocutors on this journey who I’d like to acknowledge at the outset, among them: John Parish, Gregg Daigle, Meredith Wilder, Raquel Rivera and Mary Roaf. Can’t wait, y’all!