Hello friends and neighbors, I am pushing out the banks of my day to let the river of thought well up and twirl a little before spilling into dreamland, assuming sleep is down river. It's funny what I'm thinking of writing about, considering I could be writing about the first reading of our musical with Kristin Chenoweth, Doug Sills, Kathleen Marshall, Gigi Gaston, Thomas Meehan, Mary Mitchell Campbell and a marvelous cast of seventeen well known and beyond talented Broadway performers. That was the most thrilling five days of my creative life as a songwriter and lover of musicians, theatre and performing artists. Although perhaps I don't want to sully up the vibrations still humming inside of me, it was by all accounts a great success for a first reading, but we are still at the beginning of a long journey, and I don't want to jinx it.
I could talk about standing in the rain for hours in Central Park, thanking God and my mamma New York, listening to the sounds of my childhood, the lamp light throwing itself on drops of soft, cool water, making leaves drip with gold, and running like mercury into the gutters after something too fleeting to behold. But then deep gratitude, like love, does not always come to the surface, rather it curls loyally around it's roots. I could write about Provincetown, being stood up by the "nanny" at the airport at five a.m. with three dogs, a child and many instruments, not to mention two shows a night for four nights in a row…and it was a great time, not necessarily in spite of her, but because of the revelation that false support keeps one from opening up to real support. Had the entitled sabotager suffered her commitment, the heroic Erin Duncan, uber nanny turned star medical student, would not have called out a flavor from a no nonsense Italian from Providence, who took Dash to the Lobster Pot every night where we met him in between shows for clam chowder. He has a fan club there now.
I could really go on about Ptown and Dash in the ocean, the Province lands and playing with just Ed and I, but that's not what's really on my mind. My friend Richard Grenell, the longest serving American spokesman in U.N. history, a true environmental activist (he's the guy we went to the Gulf with), and important public relations person, invited me to sing the National Anthem at a lunch for Mattie Fein. I didn't know a thing about her but I always learn from Richard, and I love the challenge of painting a picture with that profoundly relevant song. I walked in with my guitar and saw Ambassador John Bolton in the diverse crowd, including a soldier from Iraq and business people from Syria and many other countries.
It was a very soulful group; they listened intently as I set up the song in 1814 from the point of view of Francis Scott Key looking at Fort McHenry, as Washington burned. They joined in singing with their hands over their hearts, and I felt rather humbled by the moment. My first impression of Mattie Fein was that she was unconventional, and she is. A pro choice, pro Gay republican, focused on keeping business in her district of California, and she's running against multi millionaire career politician Jane Harman, who can't be doing much right 'cause Cali's in the pits.
John Bolton was as far from what I thought he'd be as I might have been to him. He was measured, humorous, poetic, insightful, unpredictable and at the core, a true humanitarian. I asked him his view on immigration and he said we need to return to the Melting Pot philosophy, meaning to let everyone in as long as everyone can be Americanized. He said we need more people from all over the globe to keep this country great, to keep our edge, but immigrants need to be 100% American AND 100% whatever their heritage is. He said make legalized immigration easier, and focus on integration so we have generations and generations of diverse people who love this country. He is in every sense worldly and he expresses his appreciation of global relationships in every sentence, yet he believes America, the place in the heart, the mind and the soil, is still worth protecting. He talked about mistakes made during the Bush era, not defensively, because he is looking ahead, and he does believe a nuclear Iran is the greatest threat to destabilizing world safety.
I used to cringe at the Ambassador because I was so angry at our pre-emptive attack on Iraq, and before that I protested Clinton and Gore about the WTO. Now I express opposition to the Obama administration over legislation and his do nothing approach to the Gulf. I guess I'm just not a party girl. I like the individual. My nickname in high school was WW for wild woman, I'd come to an apartment full of stoned teen-agers, dance in the strobe light and leave. My favorite part was walking home alone on the granite sidewalks. I don't want to be liked, (of course I want to be loved madly), but most of all I can't stand feeling controlled. Having to be a Democrat or a Republican is giving up my freedom of thought. I appreciate being able to meet politicians and ask them questions, like when I met Hillary and was inspired to work like heck for her, and then when I met Bill and "got it". I loved being open to Ambassador John Bolton and feeling how much he wants to give not just to Americans but to all people, and Mattie Fein, I like how out of the box she is. I like walking away feeling connected but not indebted.
I don't want any country to be sold out by it's leaders, and you know where it starts? When the people sell out to a party, mind, body and soul, and then the party sells out to the elite. I believe that's happened for the last twenty years, at least. Again, I'm not a party girl and I've certainly never been a sell out, and I have a feeling the time is getting ripe for, dare I say it, Mr. and Mrs. Smith to go to Washington.
Hello from the cornfields of Illinois! On our way to Midway airport, the show last night was fun, however, we were the last ones standing. I have a feeling this morning that the problem of 12 to 20 percent unemployment throughout the country is to blame. I heard and saw volumes of what's wrong with the powers that be, and I woke with a strong sense that what is wrong is that we, the people, allow ourselves to be used and don't stand up and take responsibility for what we hate about ourselves, our lives and out country.It's time to stop blaming people who we perceive as stronger and more powerful or mean, and STOP MAKING EXCUSES for the people who are destructive and bitter towards others and themselves. Are you one of those people? If you are, find the spiritual strength to live your truth. It's now or never.I loved reading the words of Sophia in Alice Walker's book, The Color Purple, "White folks is a miracle of affliction" when I was young. Now that I'm less young I realize that so is Black folk, so is Hispanic folk, so is all folk. You wanna say to white people "welcome to our world" now that it's fine to say out loud how racist you are? NEWSFLASH: we've all been in the same toxic world for thousands of years. The people on top keep changing, but the people on the bottom remain the same.Its time to change and be an example for our children. Its time to realize that if you are racist you are being used. You are just an ignorant pawn in the game of greed and power. Black people enslave black people to this day. Hispanics are as racist asany group of people I have ever witnessed. And of course, the brutality of white people is well documented. Muslims, Jews, Christians, too. But the irony is, we are 99% the same. We share cultures, we share ideas, we share toilets and we share this world. You wanna watch this country fall while saying to whitey "welcome to our world"? Then you are low level. You are seething with self abuse. You are worthy of the mind that entraps you. The same goes for all of us. The high people are the folks who love, wholeheartedly, the humanity in everyone.The high people make bridges - emotionally, spiritually and intellectually - so we can all cross, one by one, to higher ground. In fact, in America today there is an abundance of high level, generous, creative people who are immensely, IMMENSELY, successful and BRAVE. The next time you wanna put someone down in bitterness for oppressing you, think of someone who came from even lower than you who rose up and is now an ambassador to the world. Who is really keeping you down, beside your self? Be the 1%, if you dare.Sophie B. HawkinsSunday morning
Hello people of the light, we are on the road from KY to IL, early in the morning buzzing with locusts, sheltered by clouds and smelling like toasted bagels. We just passed a Waffle House, how cold.
Last night is memorable for several reasons, not the least of which was Andy Andrews' summation of what's going on in this country, and of course, the world. "Bullsh*t!", he cried out. Bless your heart, Andy, there is so much to say, but really more to do, so just simplify the matter in a word and rev up your engines. As Dashiell says, "vroom vroom!"
These shows are getting more and more surprising, the people coming are either new, or familiar but different, as I must be. The tension between "I don't know these people but I'm gonna sing what I feel under threat of desertion" and, "I've seen these people before, I wonder how they're gonna react to me now" makes for good stuff.
The musical is being workshopped at the end of Sept, they're casting the reading now, I've started working with the MD, I'm writing and rewriting in earnest. There are new songs now to glue onto the album, I think the title should change, and when I asked Gigi when are the lawyers gonna get the deal done so I can release this mother she said, "I'll get it closed next week. I'm going to be wild." Good on ya, mate.
I suppose its "healthy" for Dash that I leave and he has the opportunity to feel his independent life and tap into his sense of security in the bigger, spiritual sense, which he has in abundance, it seems, and its good for me to be without him and trust he's doing well, physically and emotionally. But it's a struggle. Especially because he understands what's going on when I talk to him about going away, and he seems to resolve himself to be strong. It was said to me that he doesn't want me to be upset, which could be true, and I cannot fathom that I have been given such a great and profound gift as my child. The other thing that amazes me is when I call and talk to him he has so much to say, and I realize when I hang up that I only got half of it in the moment. Is it always gonna be like that? Am I going to think about my conversations with him and realize more and more layers? It is like walking away from a great painting that lives and grows in you, or a poem, or a being who makes you expand. I also realized on the plane that I am continuing my journey, and mine is supporting his. And so soon he will take off on his destiny and I'll be holding onto every moment of him, as I do now. I see corn, and horses, and I have a new appreciation for excavators, trucks and buses.
See you soon,
Hello out there! I want to say happy belated mother's day to everyone, because you don't have to have a human baby to be a mother, it's the essence of wanting to take care of another being, doing things to help them be healthy, happy, and self assured.
My greatest mother's day moment was the evening before at around eight pm, Dash's bedtime. We were at his grandmothers doing this and that outside and we heard a fluttering in the gutter spout, we went in to get tools and ended up using our hands to pull out a very condensed and big nest of a bird. The bird had not lived to fly away, and I was very sad until, just as we were walking into the alley to go home, there was another fluttering sound and a bird flew out and up into the dusky sky. How happy we were! And then, more fluttering and we reached in to pull out another nest, this time the bird was entrapped in the dry weave but still alive. We put the nest and the bird in a cage and sang all the way home, about nurturing the bird back to strength. We gave it Dash's old baby food ('cause he's so grown up now), but by the time Dash had his bottle the bird had died. The middle one lived, though, and we had the experience of saving, and trying to save, another's life.
I've been so happy to meet new people at these last shows, and I'm really stoked that my next group of shows, starting with Anthology in San Diego, are giving to the Waterkeeper's Alliance. That's exactly what I wanna do with my music. I hope you will come to a show, and I hope you will down load The Land the sea and the sky 'cause every penny will go to saving the birds and cleaning the water in the Gulf. So much more to come!