Saturday, March 28, 2009

Lucky (Danny Schmidt)

This is what's been happening in my life since late Monday/early Tuesday... reprinted from various e-mail updates I wrote to family and friends - cutting to the chase (before you have to read the loooooong recap below): I am now home and Eric is much better (another crisis averted!).


Sent: Tue, 24 Mar 2009 7:41 pm
Subject: Eric

I'm doing one big-*ss bcc: to keep everyone in the loop - I know you all understand...

I am in the hospital room with E, who is sleeping soundly, with an IV drip of antibiotics and pain medication - they're also giving him a potassium IV, as that's severely low...

I made it to Orlando in three hours (what is normally a 4-hour drive) - let's just say the Universe was running interference, in the form of a black car in front of me that was going a few miles faster (mumble mumble 80+ mumble mumble), making everyone move out of the way, which I followed it almost the entire trip. Coincidence? - I think not...

Long story short: Eric (my 20-year-old son, as most of you know) woke up yesterday (Monday morning) with a lesion on his left cheek, and the whole side of his face swollen and painful, including an almost-shut eye - he went to a walk-in clinic, where they gave him antibiotics and pain meds in pill form, and told him to come back the following day...

When things still were not better by 8 p.m., his roommate took him back there, whereupon the doctor on duty told him to go immediately to an emergency room - after a few hours there, they admitted him a bit before midnight. I knew at that point I would be driving up today, spending a few hours this morning clearing my calendar - thanks to all of you who I cancelled/ postponed...

A doctor specializing in infectious diseases came in this morning, but hasn't been back - Eric is now in what is considered to be isolation, recommending that people who visit wear gowns/ gloves. At this point, they are trying to rule out what it's not - he's had a CAT scan, blood work and various swabs. The lesion/swelling has happened twice before in the last six months, but not anywhere this severely - it just feels good to finally be dealing with it...

I so appreciate everyone's skyward prayers... purple candles... healing energy... good thoughts... best wishes - I will pass them on when he wakes. I have packed enough for a 5-day stay, and will be here longer if necessary - the cafeteria food (mmm, salad bar) is pretty good (weak smile... :-)

I'll attempt daily updates - in the meantime, thanks again for the continued blessing of your friendship...

Sent: Wed, 25 Mar 2009 8:44 pm
Subject: Eric - 3/25/09 update

It's been a good day, informationally and otherwise, after a very frustrating evening of fitful rest coupled with constant interruptions - I know it's for Eric's own good but, when there's someone in the room every hour, taking vitals, changing IV bags, giving pain medication, making sure he's hydrated, etc., it's exhausting... literally...

He did catch up a bit during the day, sleeping more deeply and for a longer period of time since I've been here - I'm glad I'm able to run interference/be the advocate to answer questions so they don't have to bother him unnecessarily...

So... we were finally able to talk to the doctor of infectious diseases today... and, although they can't confirm until the culture comes back (48 to 72 hours after swabbing his nasal cavity yesterday), he is 90-95% certain it is MRSA, a staph infection common in hospitals, athletic environments and student communities. What we thought was a spider bite this past fall seems to have been this (strange they didn't diagnose it as such at the time, especially in a college town) - I've done a bit of googling and it's more than a bit scary, although comforting now that we know what we're dealing with...

Some people are more susceptible than others - Eric could very well be affected the rest of his life, and we're becoming informed on ways he can attempt to minimize outbreaks. They will be keeping him another two days (at least) to make sure the antibiotics have made a major impact on the infection - he already looks and feels substantially better since my arrival, although the wound site is still painful and abscessed, albeit smaller...

Poor baby - we'll try to get him showered and changed into fresh clothing later tonight (we need their help, because the IV line goes through the sleeve of the gown), which will go a long way toward recovery...

When he's finally discharged, I'll stay up here another day to help with laundry, cleaning and cooking - what's a mom for if not to make big batches of soup, right?!?

Again... thanks - your collaborative and continued love is felt and passed on...

P.S. I'm finally getting around to reading Wally Lamb's The Hour I First Believed - highly recommended (waving to my BookWomen, sorry about missing tonight's Pride and Prejudice meeting... :-)

Sent: Fri, 27 Mar 2009 11:13 am
Subject: Eric - 3/27/09 update (He Shall Be Released - with apologies to Bob Dylan)

Wanted to let you all know Eric was released last night (Thursday) about 8 p.m. - it happened quickly, with the doctor coming in about 5 to check on the lesion, which had begun draining earlier in the day (apparently what they had been waiting for). He escalated prescription writing for oral antibiotics and pain medication and, once those finally came through (we had already started packing), we were good to go. And yes, if you're confusedly wondering... three hours *is* quick by hospital standards - it's certainly been an exercise in patience and perspective...

Cut to the chase: we spent the night at Eric's apartment last night, which he shares with a roommate - how wonderful to finally stretch out, face down, on a real bed (as opposed to face up on a semi-reclining, hard-as-a-rock chair) - I'm having to use his computer, as there's no wireless in the complex to people who don't live there/subscribe...

The plan today is to do lots of laundry (hot water and bleach), clean the apartment and make sh*tpots (a Southern term for beaucoups) of soup - I could actually end up coming home tonight or may wait until tomorrow (Saturday), depending on his need to have me here/desire to be rid of me now that he's better...

More health/technical stuff involved, of course, which I won't regale you with - let's just say that it's a process, and we're prepared to handle it all, one day at a time...

Thanks again - your support and love are palpable and cherished...

Sent: Sat, 28 Mar 2009 8:54 pm
Subject: Re: Eric - 3/28/09 update (Home - Meg Hutchinson)

Just wanted to quickly let everyone know I'm home, leaving Orlando for Pembroke Pines about 3:30 this afternoon) - will spend the remainder of the evening catching up on voicemail and e-mail and snail mail, oh my!

I promise to follow up with personal replies tomorrow as I attempt to get back into the chaos I call my life - thanks in advance for everyone's patience... :-)

Eric is much better, after having consumed about 10 bowls of my soup so far - I think there are a few gallons left. Hey, I'm Italian - I don't know how to cook "small". I also made dinner last night... lots of pasta, sauteed veggies and turkey meatballs for him, his roommate, his roommate's girlfriend and a few other friends who wandered into their apartment - I stocked the fridge and pantry with other healthful options as well... and we cleaned/disinfected everything in sight...

The hospital sent him home with two prescriptions, one of which (the antibiotic) could only be half-filled until the pharmacy re-stocks on Monday... and the other (the painkiller) couldn't be filled at all because the doctor wrote the wrong date (2006 instead of 2009). Since Eric was discharged, I have to wait to call Medical Records, which doesn't re-open until Monday, to straighten everything out - so frustrating, because it was their error (and thankfully, he has enough from his previous prescription to get him through a few days)...

So... attempting business as usual... slooooowly - thanks again to all... for just *being* there...

P.S. Headed soon to the jacuzzi... with something alcoholic in hand - "got a little pinot grigio for a woman with the blues?" (I miss you, Rachel... :-)

SONG: Lucky by Danny Schmidt

BOOK: The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb

POEM: Meditation on Ruin by Jay Hopler

It's not the lost lover that brings us to ruin, or the barroom
or the con game gone bad, or the beating
Taken in the alleyway. But the lost car keys,
The broken shoelace,
The overcharge at the gas pump
Which we broach without comment — these are the things that
eat away at life, these constant vibrations
In the web of the unremarkable.

The death of a father — the death of the mother —
The sudden loss shocks the living flesh alive! But the broken
pair of glasses,
The tear in the trousers,
These begin an ache behind the eyes.
And it's this ache to which we will ourselves
Oblivious. We are oblivious. Then, one morning—there's a
crack in the water glass —we wake to find ourselves undone.

QUOTE: "In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder a secret order." ~ Carl Jung

Friday, March 20, 2009

Better Off Broke (Danny Schmidt)

Tuesday, March 10 was the official CD Release of Danny Schmidt's Instead the Forest Rose to Sing... and this past Saturday, March 14, I had the honor of presenting him (in a co-bill with Nick Annis) in my concert series - it's taken me this long to revive my vocabulary in order to write about the magical weekend!

I've spoken of my love for Danny Schmidt's music throughout this blog - he is as dear as he is talented, a sentiment reinforced during his recent stay. He made a point to show up early so we had time to visit before driving to the Labyrinth Cafe later that day - he also offered to help chop or stir, as he was keeping me company in the kitchen while I made a batch of pasta primavera for the performers and volunteers (I didn't let him... but still... :-)

I had e-mailed Danny a few weeks before the gig, telling him how much, and why, I loved the song Accidentally Daisies on his new CD - I also mentioned that Elizabeth, who was accompanying Nick the night of the show, played fiddle/violin and, with Danny's blessing, I could drop her a note asking her to work up a string part for the second half of the song (stating of course no pressure/no worries if not). What could have turned into a "train wreck" (Danny's words) evolved into a stunning collaboration which meant the world to me - when the threesome (Danny, Elizabeth and Nick) did his Company of Friends as their encore, I had goosebumps on top of goosebumps...

We all later segued to Peter Pan Diner (a post-concert tradition) for food and chat, Danny and I getting home very late, only to have to rise early the next morning, Danny to drive to Tampa for a house concert and me to head to church to facilitate a service - before he left, I asked him to sign a CD for a friend and a poster for me... and I gave him a present to pass on to his sweetie who had inspired the song: a small bowl from my wedding china, with a border of daisies (thanks, CE... :-)

I've said it before and I'll say it again - I am a very blessed and lucky woman...

P.S. SMM here, here, here, here and here...

SONG: Better Off Broke by Danny Schmidt

BOOK: Money, and the Law of Attraction: Learning to Attract Wealth, Health, and Happiness by Esther Hicks, Jerry Hicks

POEM: The Moment by Margaret Atwood

The moment when, after many years

of hard work and a long voyage

you stand in the centre of your room,

house, half-acre, square mile, island, country,

knowing at last how you got there,

and say, I own this,

is the same moment when the trees unloose

their soft arms from around you,

the birds take back their language,

the cliffs fissure and collapse,

the air moves back from you like a wave

and you can't breathe.

No, they whisper. You own nothing.

You were a visitor, time after time

climbing the hill, planting the flag, proclaiming.

We never belonged to you.

You never found us.

It was always the other way round.

QUOTE: "Money and time are the heaviest burdens of life and... the unhappiest of all mortals are those who have more of either than they know how to use." ~ Samuel Johnson

Friday, March 13, 2009

Superstition (Stevie Wonder)

How Friday the 13th Works
by Tom Harris

In order to organize time, human beings created calendars.

As part of today's dominant calendar system, every year is divided into 12 periods called months, consisting of roughly 30 days each.

All days are also grouped into sets of seven, called weeks.

In the Western world, a significant chunk of the population suspects bad things will happen whenever the 13th day of a month occurs on the day of the week called Friday.

Like many human beliefs, the fear of Friday the 13th (known as paraskevidekatriaphobia) isn't exactly grounded in scientific logic. But the really strange thing is that most of the people who believe the day is unlucky offer no explanation at all, logical or illogical. As with most superstitions, people fear Friday the 13th for its own sake, without any need for background information.

The superstition does have deep, compelling roots, however, and the origins help explain why the belief is so widespread today. In this article, we'll look at some of the interesting stories behind this unluckiest of days.

The fear of Friday the 13th stems from two separate fears -- the fear of the number 13 and the fear of Fridays. Both fears have deep roots in Western culture, most notably in Christian theology.

Thirteen is significant to Christians because it is the number of people who were present at the Last Supper (Jesus and his 12 apostles). Judas, the apostle who betrayed Jesus, was the 13th member of the party to arrive.

Christians have traditionally been wary of Fridays because Jesus was crucified on a Friday. Additionally, some theologians hold that Adam and Eve ate from the forbidden fruit on a Friday, and that the Great Flood began on a Friday. In the past, many Christians would never begin any new project or trip on a Friday, fearing they would be doomed from the start.

Sailors were particularly superstitious in this regard, often refusing to ship out on a Friday. According to unverified legend (very likely untrue), the British Navy commissioned a ship in the 1800s called H.M.S. Friday, in order to quell the superstition. The navy selected the crew on a Friday, launched the ship on a Friday and even selected a man named James Friday as the ship's captain. Then, one Friday morning, the ship set off on its maiden voyage... and disappeared forever. A similar, entirely factual story is the harrowing
flight of Apollo 13.

Some historians suggest the Christian distrust of Fridays is actually linked to the early Catholic Church's overall suppression of pagan religions and women. In the Roman calendar, Friday was devoted to Venus, the goddess of love. When Norsemen adapted the calendar, they named the day after Frigg, or Freya, Norse goddesses connected to
love and sex. Both of these strong female figures once posed a threat to male-dominated Christianity, the theory goes, so the Christian church vilified the day named after them.

This characterization may also have played a part in the fear of the number 13. It was said that Frigg would often join a coven of
witches, normally a group of 12, bringing the total to 13. This idea may have originated with the Christian Church itself; it's impossible to verify the exact origins of most folklore. A similar Christian legend holds that 13 is unholy because it signifies the gathering of 12 witches and the devil.

The number 13 could also have been considered pagan because there are 13 months in the pagan lunar calendar. The lunar calendar also corresponds to the human menstrual cycle, connecting the number to femininity.

The Christian perspective on Friday and 13 is the most relevant today, but it's only one part of the Friday the 13th tradition.

Some trace the infamy of the number 13 back to ancient Norse culture. In Norse mythology, the beloved hero Balder was killed at a banquet by the mischievous god Loki, who crashed the party of twelve, bringing the group to 13. This story, as well as the story of the Last Supper, led to one of the most entrenched 13-related beliefs: You should never sit down to a meal in a group of 13.
Another significant piece of the legend is a particularly bad Friday the 13th that occurred in the middle ages. On a Friday the 13th in 1306, King Philip of France arrested the revered Knights Templar and began torturing them, marking the occasion as a day of evil.

Both Friday and the number 13 were once closely associated with capital punishment. In British tradition, Friday was the conventional day for public hangings, and there were supposedly 13 steps leading up to the noose.

Ultimately, the complex folklore of Friday the 13th doesn't have much to do with people's fears today. The fear has much more to do with personal experience. People learn at a young age that Friday the 13th is supposed to be unlucky, for whatever reason, and then they look for evidence that the legend is true. The evidence isn't hard to come by, of course. If you get in a car wreck on one Friday the 13th, lose your wallet, or even spill your
coffee, that day will probably stay with you. But if you think about it, bad things, big and small, happen all the time. If you're looking for bad luck on Friday the 13th, you'll probably find it.

For more information about Friday the 13th and other superstitions, check out
the links on the next page.

Superstition by Stevie Wonder

BOOK: The Encyclopedia of Superstitions by Richard Webster

POEM: Superstition by Allan Peterson

I believe in the hot & dry, that’s why Florida.
I try circle for possession
and Far East, though that’s impossible for globes,
and something from the sky.
Meteors, nickel-filled, crystals as fragments
of a solid throne
because of heaven being ice, and shattering
despite some wishes,
I wear topaz for heat, strewn in my iris like straw,
lark’s eye wrapped in a wolf skin.
Thursdays I wear no rubies and put my watch aside,
add up my lucky days
avoid the rain and the ice saints, the uneven.
I am interested how nothing
is the fault of the afflicted, the malady is just
their bad shadow dragging them down.
How moth, a messenger, jimmied the house and died
by the light without telling us anything.

QUOTE: “The root of all superstition is that men observe when a thing hits, but not when it misses.” ~ Francis Bacon

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Play a Train Song (Todd Snider)

Some of you are aware that I've been contributing to Star Maker Machine, a collaborative weekly-themed music blog, since this past October - its fun, it's challenging... and it's an honor to be in such esteemed company...

A few weeks ago the subject was Trains, of which I'd made a mix CD a few years ago (thus possessing me to contribute 6 submissions containing 9 songs, a record for me) - when the following poem appeared in yesterday's Writer's Almanac... today's OV post was a no-brainer (who am I to argue with The Universe?... :-)

here and here...

I am seduced by trains.
When one moans in the night like some dragon gone lame,
I rise and put on my grandfather's suit.
I pack a small bag, step out onto the porch,
and wait in the darkness.
I rest my broad-brimmed hat on my knee.
To a passerby I'm a curious sight—
a solitary man sitting in the night.
There's something unsettling about a traveler
who doesn't know where he's headed.
You can't predict his next move.
In a week you may receive a postcard from Haiti. Madagascar.
You might turn on your answering machine and hear his voice
amid the tumult of a Bangkok avenue.
All afternoon you feel the weight of the things you've never done.
Don't think about it too much.
Everything starts to sound like a train.

QUOTE: "The only way of catching a train I ever discovered is to miss the train before." ~ G.K. Chesterton

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Shiny Happy People (R.E.M.)

From Thursday's TUT (Totally Unique Thoughts):

Simply imagine happiness, Susan, your own happiness. Feel the smile stretching across your face, notice the lightness in your step, hear the sparkle in your voice, and all things, material and spiritual, will dance to the beat of your drums.

Happy Thursday! The Universe

You smiled didn't you, Susan? Just be careful with those sparkles so close to the drums.


I've been working on this blog entry for days, but keep getting distracted (look, something shiny!) - I'm still in "full plate" mode, feeling as if I'm doing lots of things poorly.

However, one thing I *do* excel at is The Power of Positive Thinking - when a friend sent me the above video, I knew it was the jumping-off place for a future post (and here we are) - wish I had the time/energy to add more of my own words... but I'll just ask you to read between the lines... :-)

P.S. SMM here, here, here, here and here...

SONG: Shiny Happy People by R.E.M.

Happy for No Reason: 7 Steps to Being Happy from the Inside Out by Marci Shimoff

POEM: The Guest House by Rumi

This being human is a guest house.

Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,

some momentary awareness comes

as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!

Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,

who violently sweep your house

empty of its furniture,

still, treat each guest honorably.

He may be clearing you out

for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,

meet them at the door laughing,

and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,

because each has been sent

as a guide from beyond.

QUOTE(S): " A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances, but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes." ~ Hugh Downs

"I have found that if you love life, life will love you back." ~ Arthur Rubinstein

"It's snowing still," said Eeyore gloomily. "So it is." "And freezing." "Is it?" "Yes," said Eeyore. "However," he said, brightening up a little, "we haven't had an earthquake lately." ~ A.A. Milne

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Diamonds and Rust (Joan Baez)

Joan Baez: 50 years of music to move you
Folk singer-activist discusses new hope, new songs, new film

By Chris Boeckmann
Sunday, March 1, 2009

Put simply, Joan Baez is a legend. She might hate the title, she might think she doesn’t live up to it, but it’s true. Baez helped bring folk — female folk music especially — to the mainstream, and along the way, she was courageous enough to stand up for a number of noble causes.

Early in her career, she stood next to Martin Luther King Jr. Later on, she did the same with farm workers, supporters of Harvey Milk and environmental activists.

Musically, she is known as a master interpreter and gifted songwriter. Now at age 68, she is in her 50th year as a musician, and she’s touring the country. On March 16, Baez comes to the Missouri Theatre Center for the Arts.

She says she’ll play a mixture of songs from all points of her long, busy career. The Tribune talked to Baez on the phone early this week; Baez was in Austin, Texas, at the time.

Tribune: Before I started doing more research, I had pegged you as an optimist. Do you come across that a lot?

Baez: I come across it, but I’ve never been an optimist. (She laughs.) I think human nature would show otherwise. Being a non-optimist has never really interfered with the things I do. I see hope here and there, and I’ve seen human behavior do some pretty wonderful things.

Tribune: You talk about your lack of optimism in an article from The Guardian; that article is from 2006, in the middle of the Bush presidency. Now President Barack Obama, whom you openly supported, is in office. Are you any more optimistic now?

Baez: Obviously, there’s been a sea change. There’s been a huge atmospheric change for everybody in the world, so yeah, I certainly buy the word “hopeful” in a way that I never have in the past, except perhaps when I worked with Dr. King and when I’ve worked on smaller projects when the word “hope” was in accordance with the size of the project.

Tribune: Why do you play music?

Baez: I guess because I can. I guess at age 13, somebody handed me a ukulele, and I discovered I could make tunes on it and sing to it, and within a year, I developed sort of a distinct sound, y’know, for a kid, and I liked it. It provided something interesting for me in a situation I was not very happy in, which was school. So I began to spend more and more time with my little ukulele, and my voice developed, I didn’t ever have plans for anything, but I moved in that direction because I liked it.

Tribune: What about today? Why do you still play?

Baez: I think that when my voice begins to really stop functioning properly, that will be the time for me to stop singing. But the fact is that over these years, luckily the voice has held up because really as the years go by I enjoy it more and more. When I was younger, I was so fraught with problems and age fright and feeling I had to be more than I was and carrying the world on my shoulders — everything that could interfere with you having a wonderful time on the stage was there. And now due to the years and due to a lot of therapy, it’s really not there anymore, so I can sing and have wonderful music and travel on a bus that I love. It makes up for a lot of difficulties I had earlier.

Tribune: For you, what sort of differences are there between touring, say, 40 years ago and today?

Baez: Well, I used to run through the airport with my guitar 50 years ago and catch planes. I was all alone, I didn’t know what a tour manager was. I had a sort of semblance of a manager, but we had no contract, and I was flying, so that was a miserable experience (laughing). But eventually I had musicians playing with me, eventually I traveled in a bus, and it was all a really long process. Now we have no maintenance, we have the right musicians and the right manager and the right driver. It’s just a completely different situation.

Tribune: How do you choose songs to interpret?

Baez: I just choose a song that’s usually how I think and feel and hear. Sometimes it’s a song I don’t even understand. I’ve never really understood why I pick songs. I’m sure there are very different reasons, some of them are obvious right off, like the song “Day After Tomorrow,” which has so many things that remind me of me. And sometimes there are songs that are beautiful that I know aren’t for me; it’s been that way my whole life.

Tribune: Do you listen to much new music?

Baez: I don’t keep up with new music, I’m sure of that. When most people grow up, they turn into horrible parents and they say, “Ugh, what’s that you’re listening to?” to their kids, and I’m probably in that same category, except my kid plays African music. And he plays very, very current West African music, so in that sense, I’m very current in some kinds of music. But what I listen to? It completely varies. I’ve looked at my iPod, and what I’ve been listening to for the past month is either opera or Willie Nelson. (She laughs.)

Tribune: When this article comes out, we’ll be celebrating our city’s documentary film festival. I know you’ve shown support for Michael Moore and appeared in multiple documentaries. Do you watch many?

Baez: I’m in the process of making my own. I’m in my 50th year, and I’m sure that’s why we’re doing it. Rather than having talking heads, half of the interviews are just conversations with me and different people — like my ex-husband about the draft in the military, like the president of the Czech Republic because I knew him before the revolution. Let’s see, Jackson Browne is great, just sitting and talking, Dar Williams sitting and talking — and she wonderful, y’know, she’s funny and fun. And my father was a camera buff when he was quite young, so we have extraordinary footage of stuff that either he took or he handed the camera to somebody. There’s footage of him and my mom coming out of a church right after getting married. So it’s really rich with material.

Tribune: So what stage are you at?

Baez: I think we’ll have more footage of comments and maybe a couple more interviews. But we’re just about through, and it should be out in the fall.

Tribune: Wow, cool. Are you going to aim for festivals?

Baez: Yes, I think I’ll be at festivals.

Tribune: Are there any particular films that inspired this one?

Baez: No, not really, just my life.

Tribune: Besides the documentary and touring, what other plans do you have for the near future?

Baez: Spending a lot of time with my family. I didn’t spend enough time with them in the ’60s and ’70s. My mom is 95, and my granddaughter is 5. They’re a big part of my schedule.

Tribune: So I’m guessing you spend a lot of time on the phone?

Baez: Talk a lot about them in the show?

Tribune: No, talk to them on the phone, while you’re on tour.

Baez: I’m not hearing you again.

Tribune: Oh, I was just saying that when you’re on the road, you probably spend a lot of time talking on the phone.

Baez: (Laughter) Yeah, I do. Right now my son is with me. He plays percussion.

Tribune: I’ve read some very positive reviews. It looks like the tour is going well.

Baez: Oh, really, really well. We just love it. It’s just so simple. These musicians are just top, top quality, and we really care for each other a lot, so all the way around it’s a pretty wonderful experience.

Tribune: What kind of crowd do you draw?

Baez: It varies from show to show, from country to country. In Europe they’re much younger. Here there are some younger, but the majority are my age or somewhat younger. But over these past 10 years, there have been more younger people.

Tribune: Do you think folk will continue to thrive?

Baez: Yeah, I do. It’s sort of a goofy phenomenon that I’m here in the first place after 50 years — what’s even goofier is that they are.

Chris Boeckmann is a freelance music reporter. He can be reached at

Make sure you watch/listen to the YouTube post all the way to the end - the last lyric of the song when first written was "and if you're offering me diamonds and rust ...I've already paid"... which segued over the years to "...I'll take the diamonds" which is now "...I'll take the Grammy" (ha!).

I've always been a Joan Baez fan... and I credit her for "introducing" me to Dar Williams, whose You're Aging Well I first heard on Joan's 1995 Ring Them Bells CD... and was instantly captivated, needing to know more - and the rest, as they say, is herstory. I love Joan's covers of Dar, as well as Richard Shindell and Dave Carter, her activism and her ability to age gracefully - to paraphrase Gloria Steinem, this is what 68 looks like... :-)

Thanks to sharon for her heads-up post to the Dar-list about the Baez article!

P.S. SMM here and here...

SONG: Diamonds and Rust by Joan Baez

And a Voice to Sing With: A Memoir by Joan Baez

POEM: For What Binds Us by Jane Hirschfield

There are names for what binds us:

strong forces, weak forces.

Look around, you can see them:

the skin that forms in a half-empty cup,

nails rusting into the places they join,

joints dovetailed on their own weight.

The way things stay so solidly

wherever they've been set down --

and gravity, scientists say, is weak.

And see how the flesh grows back

across a wound, with a great vehemence,

more strong

than the simple, untested surface before.

There's a name for it on horses, when it comes back darker and raised:

proud flesh,

as all flesh

is proud of its wounds, wears them

as honors given out after battle,

small triumphs pinned to the chest --

And when two people have loved each other

see how it is like a

scar between their bodies,

stronger, darker, and proud;

how the black cord makes of them a single fabric

that nothing can tear or mend.

QUOTE(S): "Action is the antidote to despair." ~ Joan Baez

"It seems to me that those songs that have been any good, I have nothing much to do with the writing of them. The words have just crawled down my sleeve and come out on the page." ~ Joan Baez