@dierksbentley just called track 8 one of the best songs he’s ever heard in his life (on @cmt). last september, @stevemoakler played it during a special writer’s round, in nashville. I’ve never been in a more silent crowd.. the story song brought chills to my body & tears to my eyes. dierks so embodies the heavy + light spirit of country music that i love. i’m stoked that moakler let him cut it! the #RISER doc re-airs tmrw a.m. on CMT + the record is born 2/25. this one is big + will hopefully convert some self proclaimed country haters to the good side. (look for Steve’s version of #RISER on “wide open,” next month!) :)
- 3 weeks ago
- 3 weeks ago
50 years ago..
i love when the guy yells for people to shut up + then yells at lennon for copying him :)
girl: will you please sing something?
the boys: NO!
lennon: we need money, first.
"once upon a time, wasn’t singing a part of everyday life as much as talking, physical exercise, and religion? our distant ancestors, wherever they were in this world, sang while pounding grain, paddling canoes, or walking long journeys. can we begin to make our lives once more all of a piece? finding the right songs and singing them over and over is a way to start. and when one person taps out a beat, while another leads into the melody, or when three people discover a harmony they never knew existed, or a crowd joins in on a chorus as though to raise the ceiling a few feet higher, then they also know there is hope for the world."
happy birthday, jamie! thanks for always writing what’s on my heart before I know it + for being my “invitation to believe better things” : )
(this blog is my favorite thing he’s ever written, by the way)
”..You’ll need coffee shops and sunsets and road trips. Airplanes and passports and new songs and old songs, but people more than anything else. You will need other people and you will need to be that other person to someone else, a living breathing screaming invitation to believe better things..”
(my photo from heavy & light, chicago 2/10/13)
- 1 month ago
f o u r y e a r s.
mere hours after a huge dream of mine came true..just hours into being 19 years old, we learned that my nana was in a coma. nothing made sense after that call. it had to be a nightmare..the worst one I could imagine.
all I could do was cry. i knew she wasn’t coming back.. she was healthy & strong. she was nearly 80, but her body was healthier than my teenage one. my head spun in the wake of hurt. i just saw her yesterday afternoon. how could this be? the doctors said it was a stroke. no matter how young she kept her body, her brain had aged. she was gone.
her joy & her love came from the LORD. she was lighthearted & loved life, but she also lost her husband, & was a widow for 10 years. losing her college love, my papa, weighed her down more than she admitted, at times. her bright soul was no stranger to hurt. she felt the darkness, too, but she never let it overcome her.
nana embodied grace & courage & goodness, like no one else could. she had the heart of equal parts servant & child—she was so fun!
she was the bravest, most beautiful soul i’ve ever known..
how could i do life without her? the pain was unimaginable. she’d always been there, always. i felt that nothing good could ever overcome this hurricane of hurt.
i can still see our family—aunts & uncles & cousins—surrounding her hospital bed. sobs & beeps were the only constants. someone would whisper a prayer. through the tears, we spoke to nana & to God & to one another. we told stories of memories close & distant..sometimes we even laughed. she would want us to. i recall some of those words, but mostly i remember the songs. shaken souls joined to sing..
“blessed be Your name”
“it is well” (that one’s still hard to sing, to this day)
we joked that she better “go” soon, since the angels would surely sound better than our sobbing voices.. it was messy & it was real.. near the end of the bed, i kept my right hand on her leg, the whole time, softly rubbing in a soothing motion. it was like as long as i could still touch her, she wouldn’t leave us.
as my mind travels back, i see the tired, swollen eyes of my loved ones. i can feel my shaky hand grab Christy’s as we walk down the white-walled halls to say goodbye.
as the years pass, i still tear up when we talk about her. the weight in my heart remains, but there is a light where i hold her, inside.
jamie tworkowski penned these words in 2007, in memory of his friend casey calvert, but whenever i read them i think of my dear nana.
"we talk a lot about "community" but i think it’s appropriate right now, this idea that people need other people, this idea that we’re not alone, that we’re all in this together. life is a lot of things. our hearts are heavy and light. we laugh and scream and sing. our hearts are heavy and light." - jamie tworkowski (founder of to write love on her arms)
jamie + twloha still speak these words, often. seven years later, these phrases echo in my heart & my mind. on days like today, when it’s cold & my heart wants to befriend the darkness, i keep these words close.. i pray that your heart does too.
thank you for reading.
- 2 months ago