I haven't tuned in with you here in quite some time – I think since last August, right before I started chemotherapy. As many of you probably recall, I was diagnosed with breast cancer last year and I've been in treatment ever since. It's an ongoing process, and someday I'll share a little about what happened last fall when my mind seemed to crumble under the weight of all those poisons. But for now, it seems, the fog is beginning to lift. And as the new year turned over I was nudged again and again to pop back into the world – a more broken but truer version of myself – and choose to re-engage with this precious life while I can.
The clichés about cancer are terribly true, I've found out. There's no better crash course on how to live than a brush with death. This is so true, in fact, that sometimes I daydream about tattooing it on my arm, or printing the sentiment on business cards. I'm kidding, but it's a fun fantasy. Mostly I think people can pick up on it by a different glint in my eye that wasn't there before. I know things I didn't know before. About myself, but about you too. There's a universality that unveils itself when you walk the line between living and whatever happens after that. The truths you uncover in this space are personal and yet intrinsically impartial. We all walk around feeling we will never die, and must feel this in order to "live our lives," or so we are told. Yet deep down we know. If only subconsciously we understand, somewhere, on a cellular level, that we are always just a step away from the great unknown. The Void. The Beyond. We wear this secret knowledge like an invisible cloak around us as we try our best to make meaning of the present and ignore each other's tender plights against the real and imagined forces that mold the backdrop of our relatively short lives upon this rock hurdling through space. In fact, I actually said something like that to a bank teller the other day. You see, I've stopped trying to uphold the charade that that's not what's happening. This is one gift of a cancer diagnosis. There's incredible freedom that comes from this kind of dance with the edge.
The bank teller, well, he paused what he was doing and we both laughed. We locked eyes. We had a whole moment, just riffing on the absurdity of everything. We were like... omg... Electricity!? ... Cars?! .... Banking??!
It was glorious.
And so, dear ones, what I want to do today is (virtually, energetically) lock eyes with you. Have a moment. Commune about the common thread that ties us all together. Laugh about the absurdity of time and the malleable nature of perception. To know, together, that our lives are tenuous, beautiful expressions of the same song. And hold each other in that acknowledgement, just for a second. Just long enough to feel the power it has. The freedom. And truly, the joy.
Below you'll find an array of creative offerings I have to share, beginning with an essay released last November in Decor Maine, a beautiful design mag wherein I talk a bit about what it was like to face my diagnosis last summer, and what I did with that information. You can read the whole essay below!
Two days ago I also got an email letting me know the interview I did with Dean Doyle of NCPR – an NPR station in upstate NY – about my 2021 album Following the Light was re-released on the air. For anyone who never listened, or who hasn't heard my album, I've added the interview below so you can give it a spin. It's a short but potent window into my creative process and thinking around that project, and even talks about recording the electromagnetic energy of plants!
Below that is some new, off-the-cuff full moon poetry – something new I'm doing for the sake of opening against an edge – and SO MANY PLAYLISTS! Even though these emails fell off last fall, I continued making myself monthly playlists to evoke, support, and channel the energies of those chunks of time. I know I've said this before at some point, but I really do see these monthly playlists as mini spells that create a container for specific, intentional energetic possibilities. I hope you enjoy exploring them and catching a vibe ♡
My essay, The Other Landscape Art, shares some of what happened after my cancer diagnosis last year, and appeared in Vol. 7 of Decor Maine in Nov. 2022. Click below to read in its entirety, or find print copes here ♡♡♡
A fun interview with the ever-generous Doyle Dean of NCPR's musical series, Underscore, where we discuss my album Following the Light. At one point I even compare it to a toilet paper roll... it's pretty special, let me tell you.
This past week, shrouded in silvery beams from the full feeling moon, I took a bath and told myself, here, you're still here, it's okay to think about Love. It's not just something I played with as a teenager, obsessively, even, or had to relearn many times through my 20s and then more with motherhood in my 30s, and now, again, cresting towards 40 where it seems everything else cries louder for attention. But Yes, the moon seemed to say, Yes you can think about Love.
Sonic Spell: look back to move forward + classic vibes that grind + take stock of how far you've come to chart this epic climb + powered by power,, honest rise + embody the embodied mind ♫♫♫
Sonic Spell: i got my reasons + i might fuck up + i dance all night + i text wassup + i sparkle hard + i shoot my load + i carry arrows + i hit the road ♫♫♫
Sonic Spell: still waters run deep & obscure obsessions + cover tracks & karmic lessons + shroud all secrets, transform transform + dark moods as revelatory salvation ♫♫♫
Sonic Spell: flirtation as aesthetic sport + role playing to divine the divine + old-fashioned gentility, oh will you be mine? + easy on the heart & easy on the eyes ♫♫♫
Sonic Spell: gentle tending of hearth and health with truest loving care + nourishment at every turn + laying yourself bare + clearing space inside & out + rest, rest, repair ♫♫♫
Sending you all a long gaze. An eye lock. A heart hug.
'Til next time,