The New York times published an article called The Small Happy Life. I found it a thoughtful essay. I relate.
After daddy died (I was 14), besides holding relationship more dear, I was a “Live! Live! Live!” Grrrl. I felt I needed to be/do/think big. (The inner frenzy now reminds me of the Peter Gabriel song, Big Time.)
Now I have a wonderful, contented life. We have a modest home in a modest city instead of the condo in Chicago with a view of Lake Michigan that I nearly bought. We sing at nursing homes and make folks light up and sing along, instead of me singing solo on a big stage or in a movie s I dreamed as a child. I have no unsecured debt, and at present no car or house payment… Instead of the expensive hair, clothes, shoes, and credit card/car payments I had when I was trying to impress others and myself.
Ironically, I have more friends and more ease than I ever imagined… and I love being an adult. Life is full and joyful. I have never laughed so much!
I once truly had a job with a key to city hall. It paid well and someone’s else sorted my mail for me. I had another job where the secretary supported my needs (after I had been the secretary myself for years). Now I work more hours for less pay, but fewer expenses… and am content.
And my husband lights up when I walk into the room. Who needs designer clothes? This is the life.
Friend Joshua Davis’ song, “I Can’t Make You Love Me” (Bonnie Raitt) is at #13 on itunes right now! If he is #10 or higher at noon, his itunes votes are multiplied by 10! Please download it by noon on Tuesday (eastern time) for a mere $1.29 and represent the Michigan music community! (Click on the image below.)
Competition is tight this week… Three other Voice singles are already in the top 10. It’s a great song, besides. (I once wished to sing this one, myself,)
For other ways to vote for Josh, go to Earthwork Music. Thanks for your help.
Josh still needs our votes. I’m here to do my best to encourage you to listen (8pm Monday night, Eastern Time). In Lansing, Michigan you can watch for free at Celebration Cinema, and there are other locations for viewing in Frankfort, Leland, Grand Rapids, Bellaire and Portage. Check http://EarthworkMusic.com for information on the #DavisNation and how to vote/view.
I’m really impressed with how well the show is set up to help the contestants get to know each other and feel like family (rather than encouraging competition and conflict). There is enough drama in waiting to hear for who got voted in by “America” (the voters), there is no sense making the competitors feel alienated and alone on stage. That nonsense is not happening here, and I’m grateful.
I spent time a few weeks ago reading everything I could about the show, because I was new to this. I found a number of people suggesting that Josh’s performance of Budapest reminded them of Simon and Garfunkel. This intrigued me, because I felt that way, too, and I couldn’t figure out why.
While you are listening to Budapest, notice the subtle voice he starts with… it also reminds me of the soothing voice of Art Garfunkel. And then he gets so strong at the “Michigan feels like a dream to me now…” section. Of course. His stronger voice has echoes of Simon… and of course, he always sounds like himself under it all.
Then I listened to the intro guitar picking pattern on Budapest and it reminded me of something… so I went and listened to some intros to Simon and Garfunkel. I found it! Listen to the beginning of Budapest and then listen to April, Come She Will at about 11 seconds, where the second intro pattern emerges. The same pattern!!! And the voice of Art Garfunkel has that soft insistence we hear at the beginning of Budapest. Yeah, Josh!!!
THEN THE SURPRISE!!!
So… I started to write this post and it was involved enough that I didn’t finish in time for the top 10… so I got surprised. Josh picked America by Simon and Garfunkel as his performance at that point. And he did it artfully, perfectly and with so much emotion! It stands tall even when listened to with eyes closed on earphones. Sound alone, he delivers it beautifully.
Even Music Times agrees with me:
Team Adam still feels like the weakest batch to me, but I think America did right by picking Joshua Davis as the first of his three to make it into the top 10. His performance of Simon & Garfunkel’s “America” on Monday night was soft and perfectly balanced, proving that the power of quiet music never leaves.
—Carolyn Menyes, Music Times
And that got him into the top 10. And last week, he sang for top 8 and got the instant save via tweets on Monday night… So much adrenaline, my stomach hurt… but this guy is really showing his chops from having been on many, many stages over 15+ years on tour with Steppin’ in It and now solo. What a pro. His “instant save” song was “I Won’t Back Down” (we know this one from Tom Petty).
If you download any of these songs by Joshua Davis via iTunes, he gets votes that follow him to the end. Only $1.29 for the studio version, and the pleasure of hearing them any time you want on your favorite gizmo!
Two Hours to Show Time
I’m sitting here 2 hours before he sings again. I need to get going and post this… and get over to the Theatre to watch. I don’t have a TV in my house, so it’s pretty lovely to watch with others who also want to support our friend!!!
There will definitely be knitting. I’m going for the 2nd week with my knitting friend Helen. So fun!
Pass this along, if you would please. All the 8 are stars. Let’s give them credit. And let’s be sure to give Josh our well-deserved votes.
I’ve been collecting healthy-lyric songs of self worth again lately. Not “I’m the greatest,” but “I can stand tall just as I am.” It’s been a fabulous journey! Sort of poetry plus music plus standing tall, in one lovely bundle. Or many lovely bundles, one found at a time.
I have loved Natasha Bedingfield’s “Unwritten” for a long time (although I am disappointed they made the video partly into a boy/girl attraction visual, which has nothing to do with the lyrics at all).
Last night I found another one of her songs I’d missed in the past. It’s called “Strip Me,” as in, if you strip everything away from my outsides, I can still be me inside. Here are some of the lyrics:
Everyday I fight for all my future somethings
A thousand little wars I have to choose between
I could spend a lifetime earning things I don’t need
That’s like chasing rainbows and coming home empty
And if you strip me, strip it all away
If you strip me, what would you find
If you strip me, strip it all away
I’ll be all right…
…’Cause when it all boils down at the end of the day
It’s what you do and say that makes you who you are
Makes you think about, think about it doesn’t it?
Sometimes all it takes is one voice…
…I’m only one voice in a million,
But you ain’t taking that from me.
Yes. At the end of the day it’s the insides and your actions… not your stuff or your looks. It’s a wonderful message, and it’s even better when delivered with music underneath it. I remember being a kid and memorizing songs as mantras. I hope some young people do that with this piece.
I hope you enjoy this, too. If you can’t see it here in this screen, try clicking this link.
I live in Lansing, Michigan. My city is naturally integrated… People of all races and colors and faiths live in the same neighborhoods. I celebrate this.
My dear friend Altu is originally from Ethiopia, though she is now a US citizen and she had/raised her children here. Because of the way my community works, I was able to meet her, become close friends, and eventually travel together.
Altu & I took 2 trips to Chicago and then 10 years ago she took me to Africa. We went to 3 countries and saw not only historically important things (Egyptian pyramids for one) but I got inside homes. It was life changing.
I’m grateful for all the work done by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and those working beside him and continuing that education today.
Thank you, Dr. King.
…I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood…
…I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character…
May your own Dream never die.
Be brave enough to live life creatively
The creative is the place where
no one else has ever been.
You have to leave the city of
your comfort and go into
the wilderness of your intuition.
You can’t get there by bus,
only by hard work and risk,
and by not quite knowing what you are doing.
What you will discover will be
What you discover will be
Intuition is a life saving part of us, in some ways. We have a feeling that someone is untrustworthy, for example, and that might save us some grief. Maybe we can use the term “gut feeling” if that makes more sense.
I alternate times when I listen & trust my gut, and times I ignore it and try to force things.
Right now, I want to follow my gut more with my visual creativity. I want to use more color, want to dress in different combinations.
The equilateral vest I’m knitting requires a bit of gut following. I had to really change it but it will look good on me the new way.
It seems I want to embellish everything. I want to embroider my clothes, paint my office & kitchen… and my car.
Everyday Work Creativity
Alan Alda is talking of creative work, not a wardrobe or car. He’s pretty genius. Yet it takes practice to get to genius.
Does it seem to you that gut risks feel less comfortable in winter? I have a sense that protecting our skin from cold impacts our emotional need for protection, too.
I just went back and read mr. Alda’s quote again. A winter wilderness is a beautiful vision, don’t you agree?
Day 3 of 21:
My 3 New Gratitudes for Today
Work… With good people who appreciate me.
Working kitchen & laundry appliances which make my life more comfortable.
Central heat. Having been chilly indoors in Mexico, Egypt & Ethiopia, a dial on the wall which creates warmth is a celebrated part of my life.
I looked at my calendar after Diana/Otterwise mentioned how busy it looked. Um, she’s right.
My next day with no commitments at all? Friday, November 13. We are still in September.
I like my commitments a lot, but I am SO blocking off Friday the 13th as my lucky stay-at-home-and-eat-bonbons day!
We were away at Wheatland Music Festival this weekend. I wrote and scheduled three posts late last week, to show up while I was away.
I’m home (it’s very good… never take flush toilets for granted, and don’t forget how great your own bed is). I love the people and the music there, but I do love the conveniences of my humble city abode.
Wheatland was incredible: good music, friendships and weather. I am falling asleep at the keyboard, though, and did not write Monday’s post yet…
It will come Monday, but maybe after dark ’round here (I teach 7 hours Monday at Rae’s shop). Thanks for your patience.