Posts for 2007



Notes from the Road

Hello lovely winter spirits, nearly naked branches and moss covered rocks, I’ve been meaning to write for so long, and, alas at the airport returning from the East coast tour, surrounded by every one from every other land but this, I’m finding a moment. How romantic are New York, the hills of New Jersey, the stone towns on Pennsylvania and the Majestic Hudson Valley near the jingle and jangle of the holiday lights?

I just discovered we made it through security at good old JFK with a bottle full of cough syrup-4 ounces. Gigi went to TSA to show them and they said its legal ‘cause it’s over the counter. What? If I were a terrorist…

I want to highlight a person and a place from this tour, the woman is Amy Connolly, I hope she gets all she wants from this life (that’s good for her). She was the mostess and the Stanhope House was a wonderful surprise. Also, the abandoned barn on country road 517 in Panther Valley. Stopped my heart. We even went there at night for a Blair Witch moment.

I didn’t want to do this tour, I’ll admit it, but I loved it. May I tell you my secret desire? I want to buy a railroad house in Philly, or an abandoned barn, nature is deep, deeper than pavement, and yet, I can’t be too long in one without craving the other. That’s why the East coast is so wondrous, cause there are places where you can really be in forest and field and then go into an old town/city (everything is a town compared to NYC) and have a bagel with joe on a stoop, and stare into the glitter in the pavement until you’re there. There is home. Home is a glittery pavement.

Speaking of NYC, she’s never been more majestic, more golden, more like Meryl Streep as she has become, or Vanessa Redgrave. As the lion of winter strips her down, more like Vanessa. That’ll do. Must board now. Much love and more to come.

Sophie.


On Our Way to San Bernadino

Hi there everyone!

I’m on the 10 freeway in a dust bowl of sooty smoke, we’re on our way to the San Bernadino moutains with food, water, bedding, clothes  and towels for the shelters.. I hope we get there soon, so many homeless animals and people from this fire.
Everywhere we stopped for provisions people gave us free stuff to take to the victims. Good people.

Listen, I traded in my red truck for a deisel Ford, (F250) 2005, with fog lights. The best part is-im using Bio fuel, yay! Check in later.Soph


Hello Autumn Babies

Hello you autumn babies, we just sped away from soft wooded, silky skyed Long Island. Over the Whitestone with a man swinging from the top and a 3 masted schooner on the bay of changing hues. I had a blast at the Boulton theatre, the audience were receptive and open, encouraging us all the way to express ourselves and try new stuff. It was a very special show that I’ll remember, and the people who waited to meet, I adore the faces, the bits of life we shared.

Also, as important, probably more, Mr. And Mrs. Boulton brought that theatre back to its old glory and give all the money they make to charity!!!! How rare is that! By the way, who knew that Bayshore is en vogue? If you’re there you must stop into the “Spa” for joe. All organic, fair trade and divine tasting, and feeling. I am always relieved to get a break from the global food and joe establishments, it seems like a luxury now to enjoy an individually owned shop that’s good, it’s a way better experience and so much more enriching.

We are on our way to Pennsylvania, I get to sleep in a pig barn tonight, and I may even get to ride a horse tomorrow morning. All Gigi’s friends from the olympic horse jumping days live around Puck, the place we’re playing tonight.
Everyone in the car is sharing their “gun experiences”; as kids, I had my share on both ends of the barrel. Reminds me of a great book I’m reading, “Don’t let’s go to the dogs tonight”, I can’t pull myself away from the story.

Hey, I met two Ozzies on the plane, I hope they found their hotel and are enjoying my city, they are twins and one is named Jenny, two sweet Sheilas roaming the streets, if you see them, give them good directions, I did the best I could.
They had some astute gut insights into this country, I wish I could write them but I don’t want to start something. Anyhoo, we’re almost here, or there, so I’ll check in later!

Soph


What I did Last Saturday Night

I had been walking in the glistening twilight with Virginia and Finn, the quiet streets awash in the yolk of a long summer sunset, the birds were singing, plants and leaves were buzzing with inner energy, and I was just stepping into that parallel universe of peacefulness when my friend came barreling down the road yelling I had to get into the truck. There were a family of ducks lost and in peril because night was falling, gang members were revving up to tear off the curbs, cats and possums and raccoons were looming, and any number of horrible fates would be awaiting the waddlers if we didn’t find them and get them back to the canals. So we squished in and pealed our eyes for ducks out walking on a Saturday night until at last she said, “there they are!” And there they were, I had thought we wouldn’t find them.

The mother was disoriented, at once trying to get through a fence and then leading her babies into traffic, she didn’t even seem to mind the proximity of us, she was just weary, and very far away from home. An old man was watering across the street and my friend asked him if he knew where the Ducks lived, but he motioned he couldn’t hear, although he came across anyway with some bread. He sort of tailed us while we dove under hedges to capture the babies in a big box in order to lure her and bring them all safely to the canals, and actually, we did get all seven ducklings in, which was a feat, and I even had the mother in my sweatshirt, a bigger feat, when another man said they all lived one street over at some house with a pool.

So we dumped over the box, against my friend’s better judgement, and I was told to escort the family to that house which was down the street, around the corner and up through the alley. Everything seemed to be going well, I followed them to what was supposed to be their joint, but the mother passed it and started veering madly onto the tar now streaked with headlights, not knowing where to hide or stop for the night.

At this point they fit beneath a fence and marched onto a yard which had a woman standing on it. Her name is Chantal, she had just given her three year old child a bath and came out to admire the procession. She was immediately enlisted. Then, not surprisingly, we were spied by the narrow eyes of a woman in a white jump suit who acted like the superintendent of the street, and she said she might know the house, or pool, rather, that the ducks crashed at sometimes. The super, as we used to say in New York, referred to the place as that of “the famous actress”, and since she had the special privilege of knowing these things, she knocked on the gate, making sure we didn’t know which one it was. But, the “famous actress” wasn’t home, which made the super very tough on us NOT TO TRESSPASS and look for the pool in back, or any other signs of Ducks on her property, because the “famous actress” would be VERY upset. The old man, still tailing at an inconspicuous distance, did some snooping while we were being warned, and found out that Ducks did indeed rest there at the pool side, unwelcome though they were by the “famous actress”, and found out the way to deliver the ducks for the night was by the alley-which fence I was elected to climb over in order to accomplish the mission.

So once again me and my friend, and now Chantal in her bare feet, had to get all the ducklings in the box to lure the mother etc etc etc. with the old man tailing much like a duck himself, when Joe, who had been cleaning out his garage across the street, appeared with a blanket. Joe sat quietly on the curb studying, which characteristic came in very handy, as you’ll see in a moment. We got all the ducklings again in the box, and mama Duck was circling above in a panic, and were just about to do the ducklings over the fence thing so they’d all be reunited by the pool of the “famous actress” for the night, when an Activist came by and gave her two cents. “Let the babies go!” she cried, and the mother will lead them to the right place, that is the best we can hope for, she said. So, we tumbled over the box once more against my friend’s better judgement, and the mother came back and led them here there and everywhere, and the night swooped down upon them.

Now it was a veritable parade with Duck and ducklings in front, and me, my friend, Chantal barefoot on the cool pavement, Joe, the super, the glamorous activist, and the old man behind making erratic circles around the neighborhood. Finally, Joe and I coerced them through the gate of the “famous actress”, but as the old man had already told us, they couldn’t get to the pool from there, and so the activist and I, under threat of trespassing, trespassed to open the pool gate, but it was very locked. Just then, the next door neighbor, an “Endora” type of woman, came out and addressed the situation thus: “well, the woman who lives there is, uh, how shall I say it, an
actress, you know. Snippy, and hates the ducks. Frankly, she’d be horrified if she came home and saw all of you outside her gate, she never says two words to me, even when I ask her a question. The ducks aren’t safe out here, there are possums, cats, raccoons, all sorts. I’d get them to the canals.”

And as she was sharing the pain and frustration of living next to that famous actress to her forlorn audience, Joe had been quietly ushering the Duck family onto the actresses front porch (majorly trespassing!) and announced that he had ALL OF THEM, including the mother, under his blanket and we’d better act fast to get them into the box, which we did, easily, ’cause Joe was kinda good at that stuff.

My friend had already run to get the truck and as she pulled up she said, “take the activist!”, so Nina (her name), Joe, me and all the dogs and Ducks squished in and were off to the canals where the moonlight swished over the black water, and the houses hushed to hear the footsteps over the wooden bridges.

There, behind the wrought iron gate of a deserted house, we tumbled over the box for the last time, and the mother vaulted up and circled wide until we moved away, and when we were almost at the bridge we heard her splash into the water and turned to see her flapping, and then she made a call, and we saw seven little silhouetted whispers cross the dark side walk single file, plop into water one by one and swim to their mother. When we got back to drop off Nina and Joe, there were Chantal and her
husband, Craig. They had been waiting to hear the outcome, of course, but more poignantly, they were guarding Joe’s garage, which he had left wide open with lights on.


May 2007

Hello there, I had a great time performing with the exceptional women at Boston’s “most inspiring event”, as it is referred to throughout Beantown.

This is my second time to have the joy of being at this event, the last time was 2002 or three when I received an award.
There is nothing political or showbizzy about this ceremony, the women chosen to get awards are survivors and navigators, creators and true trailblazers that do what they do mostly anonymously, with the soul of service and gratitude in mind.

I think rather than describe each woman I’ll scan in the program, but just a quote from Billie Jean King as told by Leslie Visser, who had the room rolling on the floor with laughter, “pressure is a privileg”. So true, there’s a utopian wish that when things are going really well all will be smooth sailing, time for everything, but it’s the opposite. The better things are really going, the more chaotic and frustrating it is to complete something, achieve something new. But, relaxing within the privilege of pressure is accepting the privilege with grace. We create it, after all.

I’m done with my demos for the next record, and I expected to be recording it with musos right now, but I got an opportunity to write for a broadway musical (songs, of course) and it’s an opportunity I can’t let pass me by. Also, I have a brand going that just may take off by year’s end, and it’s connected to a charity, so I want to hold off the release of the new record until then.

So silly to think in terms of albums anymore, even though creatively that seems like a natural cycle. The flow is interrupted, I feel, by the need to market oneself in this nano second culture. One has to sell one’s songs on a phone.

For me, it’s still about great songs, however they work themselves into the universe.

Tonight I’m playing the Long Beach pride and just before the Indigo Girls, yay!!!!!! I can’t wait to hear their show. Right now, however, I’m crunched in a car seat slathered in cashmere, my dogs sprawled over me. It’s 8:45 a.m .and the ports of call clouds are anchored, it seems, for the duration.

Did I mention I did a duck tour in Boston? S


Hello there….

Hello there, facing your computer screen, how are you? It’s been a while.

I heard this woman Robi Damelin and her directing partner on NPR recently and I felt impassioned by her way of transforming life experiences that are extraordinary in their painfulness, into missions for peace and healing by encountering, and grappling with a person and a reality that is, on the surface, a mortal threat. What she’s doing with her colleagues is not an idea, it’s gritty, shifting, front lines truth, however it comes out. The phrase that struck me the most in the interview was “peace has to become a mission”. He talked about walking into a poor hospital in Palestine and introducing the non violent movement that’s going on India, because to someone who’s body has been splattered by poison bullets and who’s brother was killed by the “enemy”, that’s a start in the discussion. And over time, the seed begins to sprout, and fighters from opposite sides are together in forums learning how to make peace a “mission”, because if

Hello there, facing your computer screen, how are you? It’s been a while.

I heard this woman Robi Damelin and her directing partner on NPR recently and I felt impassioned by her way of transforming life experiences that are extraordinary in their painfulness, into missions for peace and healing by encountering, and grappling with a person and a reality that is, on the surface, a mortal threat. What she’s doing with her colleagues is not an idea, it’s gritty, shifting, front lines truth, however it comes out. The phrase that struck me the most in the interview was “peace has to become a mission”. He talked about walking into a poor hospital in Palestine and introducing the non violent movement that’s going on India, because to someone who’s body has been splattered by poison bullets and who’s brother was killed by the “enemy”, that’s a start in the discussion. And over time, the seed begins to sprout, and fighters from opposite sides are together in forums learning how to make peace a “mission”, because if it isn’t a mission, it wont ever come.

I feel that even in my own life. The night I looked up at the broken shell of moon and said my first star light star bright of the evening, and prayed not for this and that and the other-but for inner peace, inner peace from which all else would follow or fall away, was, actually, the night before I heard this interview. It is a mission, and for me an emotionally true one. I’m sure it means something very different to each person, and as I’m finishing up this new song cycle, maybe I’m not finishing, but I’ve got a batch of new songs that are as different as they always are from the last batch, I feel it’s the wanting of this place inside that the songs have been coming from.

I’ve been so glad not to be touring, as if you asked, because writing comes from the hardship of daily life, not the wind swept parted smile of never landing. And spring, the darling buds of March (do you think that is an example of global warming? That Shakespeare wrote, “Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May” around 450 years ago, and now they are appearing in March?) On my favorite Oklahoma tree, and the baby birds, and being able to walk everywhere, and tending my garden which was just a cement slab I hammered at a couple of months ago, all these elements are conspiring to inspire me. And of course, like I said, all the other stuff.

So now, my Darling Buds Of March, I do have big things in the works, but in the spirit of inner peace, let me just say, have a great hour and don’t let the rough winds shake you off your tree.

Your’s, Sophie B.

Click for more information on Just Vision and Robi Damelin

Click for more information on Encounter Point