I feel like I’ve been in a time warp. During the first 10ish weeks after my injury, every day seemed like a week, and each week went on FOREVER. And now that I’m getting closer to normal, each week whizzes by before I can even get my bearings.

What an adventure!

But now I such a backlog of things to expressss here. 🙈

Ok first of all…Artifice is BACK!

You know, I don’t think I’ve done a great job explaining how much this project means to me—how much it’s an integral part of my work as an artist.

But, as I listened back to this latest episode, I felt arrested by how special this whole thing is. There is so much creativity on display here.

Curating these guest lineups for you is one of my favorite ongoing art projects. And from my perspective, interviewing my guests is some of the best work I do. I’m so proud of it.

This latest episode feels particularly magical.

I first became aware of Katharine while listening to her interview with Doug Fabrizio on Radio West. I felt INSTANTLY fascinated and heartful about her work and her brain, and I knew I needed to do everything in my power to interview her for Artifice.

After nearly a year of pandemic-related delays, we made it happen! And our interview felt to me like the best sort of mystery, swirling up right in front of me. I hope you can feel that as you listen.

As I edited, I found myself transcribing whole paragraphs from Katharine’s answers (the woman speaks in poetry…like I said, arresting!).

This is my favorite gift:

“From my advanced age, I’ll say – it will happen…you should absolutely trust your instinct on this, and…you might find that you come to a point where you’re less verbose, but the reason that you’ll be able to do that (if you do come to that point, and maybe you won’t, and that’s ok too, right?), but if you do come to that point, it’s because of everything that you have been synthesizing and using, and sometimes you have to try on every kind of expression, and every mood, and every emotion before you can figure out how to do this one, here.”

I am still SWOONING over this treasure. And feel in the dearest company knowing that Katharine was also accused of verbosity in her younger years.

So…I’m taking this to heart, today. I have so much to tell you.

Let me start by saying, I’ve known for about 9 months now what I wanted to do after The Hallowed Wide…

At least…I know the shape of the thing. But I have the sense that this thing requires me to take a meandering path. I am taking you (me, us) somewhere with all of this. I have a vision of the place. I have an inkling of the music that will arrive between now and then.

And I’m taking the scenic route.

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, part of this “research” and preliminary work I’m doing for this next…thing…is focusing on senses-forward endeavors.

A lot of my work is admin-type stuff, and with this ongoing recovery (I’m literally in physical therapy about 6 hours per week right now), I wish there was more time for these explorations. But here are a few things I have been doing…

No pics yet, but I’m making progress on my interior design project. I bought some gorgeous linen sheets from Bed Threads (you will not regret playing around with their design widget). As a little clue, I chose a combination of Olive, Sage, Peach, and Pink Clay. They are comfy and cool and beautiful, and safe for our planet.

I had a gorgeous phone call with my dear friend Emily Young (you’ll hear from her on Artifice SOON). She is a magical sort of person, so when she told me she had her Tarot cards out, of course I asked for a reading. And the results filled my soul with the deepest joy.

Back to my 6-hours-per-week in physical therapy…I have been doing everything in my power to value this time. It’s really a gift to get to spend so much time with people I’d have no other reason to know—my elderly co-patients, the college-aged techs, and of course the PTs, themselves. I love them all! And I’m paying attention to everything I’m learning in this special space.

On Tuesday, I took my sister-in-law Amy (one of my favorite humans in all the land) to visit the little homestead farm of another of my Artifice Season 7 guests. We cuddled brand new baby goats (DAYS old, these babies), chatted with Maisy the Jersey cow, spied on some quail, AND the farm princess gifted me a bit of the sourdough starter that’s been in her family for two generations.

You should absolutely trust your instinct on this.

So. I’m going to do my darndest to be a sourdough girl now. What’s more senses-forward than that?!?

AND…I officially started recording Artifice Season 8. I’m trying out some brand-new software, so I can interview artists who live far away from me—a bit of an intimidating prospect, on multiple levels.

But I LOVED interviewing Folklorist + Ethnomusicologist Langston Collin Wilkins this week. I can’t think of how to express how meaningful this feels, but it has something to do with courage (for both of us, I think), curiosity, and shared humanity. And it’s just really valuable to me.

Finally, I wanted to hit you with one more of those elevator-shaft experiences

Early in 2022, I realized something strange.

My baby sister Annie is 21 years old – the same age our mother was when she was pregnant with me…

And I am 34 – the same age our mother was when she was pregnant with Annie.

You should absolutely trust your instinct on this.

I remember mom’s last pregnancy. I was 12, and I felt VERY excited for Annie to be born, but my relationship with mom scared me so much.

Of course, while I don’t remember first meeting my mother, I know things got bad really quickly.

But here’s the thing…

When I remember my early childhood and teens from my own perspective, my mother seemed so powerful. A grown woman. A mom. I felt sure that she understood so many things.

And when I look at my sister now, I see someone just beginning her life. And while I don’t believe Annie is the same as our mother…looking at Annie, I can re-imagine mom at 21, and I just see her very differently.

She is not ready to be anyone’s mother. She is insecure and lacks clear self-awareness. She’s immature and petty. She’s the kind of 21-year-old who could feel threatened by her own infant daughter.

And I can see myself at 34. I know how absurd it would feel to me to treat even THE brattiest 12-year-old like my mother treated me (and I was a really nice kid at 12). I can newly imagine what kind of 34-year-old woman would be capable of telling a 12-year-old she looked “four months pregnant,” or slapping her across the face, or telling her she must have done something to deserve a spit-wad assault at school #juniorhigh.

It has been…a very enlightening realization.

My first-person memories still break my heart. But I no longer have any sense that I deserved those things from my mother, or could have done anything to change the outcome of our relationship. It’s clear as day to me that she was suffering, that she wasn’t a healthy woman at 21, at 34, or at 52, when she stopped living. I’m able to feel a new sort of compassion for her that is much less abstract than the type of compassion I was able to feel before. I can see her smaller. I can imagine what it would have been like to meet her 34-year-old self now. And she just seems a LOT less scary that way (still a little scary, tbh). Mostly, she seems pretty lost.

I’m not there yet with my dad, but I hope to be. I have a new idea of what that future could look like.

And I’m trying to look back (down, out, around) for new angles on myself, too.

I was taught to see myself through my parents’ eyes…

I’ve heard a lot of people talk about “inner child work,” and I’ve never really understood what that could mean. But this feels like something.

I can’t go back and parent myself like I deserve to have been parented, but I can try to teach myself to see my younger self through my present-day eyes. And that just feels like a very interesting project.

Alright! That’s all the things I wanted to say today.

TL;DR: I’m working on a new thing, and everything between now and new music is part of the thing. #breadcrumbs

I wish you the happiest rest of your weekend.