Hello, hello from the sprawling Highway

Hello hello from the sprawling highway somewhere between the Denny’s in Baker’s field and Napa Valley. We left at the crotch of dawn this morning in a white whale of a van to play. Tomorrow we have radio (KPIG) and 2 shows at Don Quixote. How are you? I’m feeling good. On New Year’s eve I asked myself what I wanted to do to represent the new year, and I answered, “I want to do something challenging, that scares me”. So I got a big ass canvas and went out to a very public place and painted. I went back for 3 days and then the next weekend, and what a great experience.

First of all, human beings passing by had diverse and inexplicable comments, but also such wonderment at seeing someone on their corner painting. So many people were guilelessly exhilarated by a fellow human being creative in that understated setting, as if I were a part of themselves, each in there own way, that they had forgotten. One little boy stood beside me and declared defiantly, “you’re an artist!” And I thought, “you’re an artist.” But he had run away.

I remembered the description of Lilly Briscoe in To The Lighthouse from when I was 14 years old in Riverside Park, and I smiled that I had a touch of her in me. On one of the afternoons a huge young man stood behind me and berated me for putting in a certain statue, I gave him enough time to leave me in peace, and then I weiled on him with my paintbrush, and he backed way up. We did have an impassioned exchange of street talk, but he finally left with his angry opinions and burdens of self loathing, telling me to “shove the painting up my ass.”

Art is sometimes a key and sometimes a weapon, sometimes a seductress and sometimes a rapist, but it sure does bring out what is within. So let it be a taste of the new year, already challenging and enticing. The new cycle of songs is being exposed to the market place little by little, the songs are being mastered early February and we’re choosing the direction of the release. Really good feedback, so far. Can’t wait to give it to you.

I wrote before about this country, America, which I love so passionately and I hope is as unique and free for Dashiell as it has been for me. I see the amount of aide Americans are giving to Haitians and I am proud of us, yet why don’t we do this for each other? Why don’t we text a 10 dollar pledge to a family in Wilmington Ohio, or readily open up our families for adoption of desperate kids here?

When I talk about America I mean the people, us, not the government, what it has become. I have endless faith in the people, and that’s why we need all of our rights and freedoms in tact, to do good, to make good, to create good.

My muso was talking about how he couldn’t get a loan for a car his wife needed for life and work even though he has excellent credit etc. Well, he got a loan from an individual who knows him and he pays it with interest responsibly every month just the same as any bill. This is the way, we don’t need to be crippled by banks, by the system, we need us.

We make a trashed house gorgeous with our own hands while we’re working to make ends meet, we make our lives better everyday with no help. These are the people I know, anyhow. Have you tried a Majic Jack? Unbelievable service, cheap as dirt. I think we try to prove ourselves when we only need to live and act with integrity, tell the truth from our hearts, give to each other the way we give to the world…can you imagine?

The other thing is, like the man who picked a fight with me because he didn’t like the statue I had painted in my painting, why do we judge one another and even hate someone because they have a different belief or point of view? I like being around people who think differently, but are respectful. When everyone who has the same values and same points of view are in the same neighborhood, it feels like a ghetto.

Its sunday morning now, raining, santa cruz is a giant, grey puddle. Dash would love this, and the hotel had a waffle maker, even better. Just did a fun interview with Betsy McNair on KZSC, and we’re off to KPIG to play live and then 2 shows at Don Quixote and then the long drive home listening to Alan Watts if the boys will let me. Actually, to my surprise, Ed said at 3 am, “this guys got some interesting things to say, even though I don’t agree with allot of it.” That’s what I’m talking about!

Sophie B.