November 18, 2017
WILD WORLD

I wonder what a musician experiences the moment he or she begins to write a song. Perhaps nostalgia, sorrow, or loneliness permeate his or her heart as reason and logic fail. Perhaps he or she is overcome with love—an eros or agape kind of love. I wonder where it first begins. Is it different each time? Words blow in the wind, and one by one, a single person captures them and begins to filter them through a personal, existential moment in time. Then, he or she carefully strings them together, presents them a melody, and gives a name to what has become a musical story, a song.

Luckily for me, many musicians release that song back into the wind. It travels and travels, reaching ears that may never listen, ears that may listen but never feel its worth, and ears that need to hear the song so desperately that when it reaches them, a sense kinship, relief, and connectedness wash over their keeper.

I experienced this myself recently. I was on an airplane flying home to Ohio to run my first marathon alongside my mother. I had spent the past six months running to train and to process—at least trying my hardest to do the latter. The world around me felt complicated to say the least, and with each passing day, I felt less and less equipped to face the convoluted web of heartache, fortune, simplicity, mess, luck, misplacement, and distortion I (mostly) read about on NPR and Twitter. So, I ran. I listened to music, and I processed each living frame of heartache, fortune, simplicity, mess, luck, misplacement, and distortion I could before choosing the most productive way to get involved.

Fast forward to that moment on my short flight to Ohio. Drew Holcomb’s Wild World played through my headphones, and his words struck me like a wall of cool water. My own words oftentimes fail me, and his became the truest expression of my mind and heart over the past several months.

I don’t know about you
But I like to tell the truth
But the truth seems to change every Tuesday

When I watch the news
Man, it just gives me the blues
No one listens, just on a mission to hear their own voice

It’s a wild world
We’re all trying to find our place in it
It’s a wild world
And no one seems to understand it
It’s a wild world
But there ain’t no way I’m gonna quit it
Love is all we’ve got to give away

Some folks ain’t got a dollar to their name
Others got their own jet planes
We’ve all got the same blood running through our veins

Whether or not you pray
Black or white, straight or gay
You still deserve the love of your neighbor

It’s a wild world
We’re all trying to find our place in it
It’s a wild world
And no one seems to understand it
It’s a wild world
But there ain’t no way I’m gonna quit it
Love is all we’ve got to give away

Try a little tenderness
Maybe some benefit of the doubt
Another person’s point of view
Try to listen not to shout
Hold your opinions loosely
Maybe you’re not always right
Show a little mercy
And hold on to love real tight

It’s a wild world
We’re all trying to find our place in it
It’s a wild world
And no one seems to understand it
It’s a wild world
But there ain’t no way I’m gonna quit it
Love is all we’ve got to give away
Love is all I’ve got to give away
Love is all we’ve got to give away

Amen.

There is no replacement for music. Thank you, humankind, for sharing it. Thank you for language, resilience, and forgiveness. Thank you for perspective. It seems, to me, that nobody got it easy, and music will continue to carry us through.

P.S. Listen to Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors here.

Painting by Inès Longevial

November 18, 2016
ONWARD AND UPWARD

Phew.

How is your week thus far? Jared and I spent a long weekend in New Orleans, a city seemingly full of stories unlike any I’ve heard before. If walls began to talk, I’d want to be there. It was a treat to experience a new city, new people, and new life after a tumultuous election process and an overwhelming election day. The city is painted in pastels and covered in dark green accents in the form of fresh vegetation. It’s filled with a magical sound of music – something of which I will never tire. Visiting New Orleans was an opportune pick-me-up indeed.

Below are a few more pick-me-ups that have been so appreciated this past week. I hope you enjoy them as much as I.

The songs on this list have been playing through my headphones throughout the last 24 hours.

 The Knits Collection by Elizabeth Suzann and Kordal is meant to channel strength and sanctuary.

This quote by Abraham Lincoln is paradoxically simple and incredibly complicated.

          “I don’t like that man. I must get to know him better.”

Art is powerful in times of celebration and in times of mourning. Parisian artist, Inès Longevial, creates the most beautiful and abstract work.

The piano will always be my favorite instrument. I love this new song by Ben Abraham and Sara Bareilles. Cue tears.

This series by A Cup of Jo is my favorite each and every week.

Bloggers are using their platforms to promote engagement and change more than I’ve ever seen before. Way to go, Ashlae(I also love this essay by Erin of Reading my Tea Leaves and this list of ways to get involved by Lexi at A Cup of Jo.)

Thank you for being, On BeingThis episode in particular meant so much to me last week.

Sometimes simple is better. I loved this mantra shared in my yoga class this week:

          “May your heart be kind. May your mind me fierce. May your spirit be brave.”

Documentation of I.M. Pei’s works have finally made it onto our bookshelf.

Have a great rest of your week, friends.

Painting by Inès Longevial

October 10, 2016
HOME FOR THE WEEKEND

goodwin_01

Moondance by Goodwin

I’ve been a homebody for as long as I can remember. I grew up with two sisters, and on weekends our parents would find us spending time with each other before leaving the house to be with childhood friends. We each had our own room in the home we spent most of our childhood, but we shared a fourth room where our movies, piano, and games lived. My little sister and I would spend hours choreographing gymnastics routines, and my older sister and I would begrudgingly practice piano no longer than absolutely necessary. The easiest way to find contentment, it seemed, was to stay home and spend those precious weekend days with each other.

The same was true in college, and the same is true today. Home is the place I feel most at ease, the place I feel safest. It is the place I can be hidden without feeling like I’m hiding. Those close to me oftentimes hear me say phrases similar to: “I’m so glad to be home!”

“We aren’t leaving the couch this weekend!”

“We’re staying home all day.”

Home means many things to me. It currently means being with Jared, Jones, and Albert. It means all four of us are on our couch. It’s before noon, and there are no plans pulling us away. A Netflix original is on. (Right now, it’s Narcos.) A new candle is burning. (Right now, it’s Moondance by Goodwin.) Of course, the candle is out of reach from both Jones and Albert. I remind myself to blow it out before too long because I don’t want the entire candle to turn into gaseous particles in less than a week. The sound of clothes tumbling in the dryer is detectable, but neither Jared nor I feel much pressure to fold them as soon as we hear the beep of a completed cycle. We’re ever-so-slightly tired. One of us hasn’t brushed our teeth yet. We’re drinking our coffee slowly, so slowly that it becomes room temperature before the cup is dry. Sun rays are beginning to pour in, and the house smells like a combination the aforementioned candle and a caffeine-laden aroma. We’re home, and it’s exactly where we want to be.

Of course, I oftentimes wonder if being home is more akin an emotion or a feeling–rather than a physical setting. Perhaps it is both.

Home will soon mean being in Ohio with family and close friends. It will mean celebrating the marriage of a best friend and college roommate instead of lounging on our couch. It will mean sharing a Thanksgiving meal in the country instead of slowly drinking our coffee. It will mean detecting the smell of my grandmother’s perfume instead of a new candle. Soon, the feeling of home will change for a short time–before evolving further and further–for as long as we allow.

September 26, 2016
BROADSTONE GERMANTOWN

broadstone00

We moved from Boston to Nashville nearly two years ago. Jared’s first day of work happened to coincide with moving day, so we had to be somewhat strategic about our move-in plan. In this case, a strategic plan began with accepting that moving day would feel a bit like running a marathon. We began the day at 2:00am, arrived in Nashville at 10:00am, unloaded our belongings, and returned our U-Haul before 12:00noon. Jared left for work, and I began unpacking. Luckily, we had a full supply of adrenaline on moving day. We were so excited to be moving to Nashville. (We are even more excited to be living here today.)

Upon moving to Music City, we were repeatedly told we came at a very special time. This city is so different than it used to be. Something new is always poppin’ up. We heard these words over and over again. I catch myself saying the same phrases to newcomers, as well. Already, the city feels different than it did two years ago. We oftentimes count the many cranes in sight while out for a walk in our neighborhood. (We’ve counted up to thirteen cranes in plain sight before.) This is a special time indeed, and we’re thrilled to be a part of it.

One of the many new spots poppin’ up in town is Broadstone Germantown, a soulful living space in our neighborhood. I visited the property recently and was so impressed by its rooftop view of downtown Nashville–complete with a lounge, ping pong table, and fire pit. Broadstone Germantown is also home to a songwriter’s room, a business center, and well-designed living quarters. Its setting is near First Tennessee Park and only a few blocks from several of my favorite spots in town including Wilder, Rolf and Daughters, and Bicentennial Park.

Photos of Broadstone Germantown and our neighborhood are below!

broadstone05

A warm lobby area

broadstone01

Rainy day views atop Broadstone Germantown

broadstone03

Business Center

broadstone04

Common area for all residents

broadstone02

Sofa details

broadstone06broadstone07broadstone08 broadstone09

Views of Germantown

Visit Broadstone Germantown online or in person at 1100 3rd Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37208.

This post was created in partnership with Broadstone Germantown, a living complex in Nashville, TN. All opinions are my own.

September 16, 2016
ONE NIGHT IN CHATTANOOGA

chattanooga01

It isn’t often Jared and I sneak away for a day or two–just the two of us–without family, friends, or our furry children. We made an exception last weekend. Chattanooga, Tennessee was calling. We packed an overnight bag, handed our house keys to a trusted friend, and drove two hours southeast to Scenic City. Our anniversary would take place the following Tuesday, so we planned to celebrate early while away. This was our first trip to Chattanooga, so there was much to take in. The city rests beside the winding Tennessee River and among the Appalachian Mountains and Cumberland Plateau. At the right vantage point, we could see rolling hills through the cityscape.

We stayed at The Dwell Hotel, a funky and colorful abode in the heart of downtown Chattanooga. We shared an anniversary dinner at Easy Bistro and ended the evening with cocktails at Matilda Midnight.

Come morning we indulged our appetites without having to go too far. The Dwell Hotel is also home to Terra Máe, a wonderfully fun spot to share an omelette and house made potato donuts. POTATO DONUTS. We then headed to Tennessee Aquarium and Hunter Museum of American Art before heading home to our aforementioned furry children.

Photos are below of our short weekend in Chattanooga! Happy Anniversary, dear Jared.

chattanooga02 chattanooga03 chattanooga04

The Dwell Hotel and Terra Máe

chattanooga05chattanooga06chattanooga07chattanooga08

Hunter Museum of American Art

chattanooga09 chattanooga10

Near Rembrandt’s

chattanooga11

Paddleboarders on the Tennessee River

Have a great weekend, friends!

August 23, 2016
SUMMERTIME IN THE CITY

NYC01 NYC02 NYC03 NYC04  NYC06 NYC07 NYC08 NYC09 NYC10 NYC11 NYC12 NYC13 NYC14

Summertime in New York City

More photos from this trip (taken in July) are posted here. Have a great week!