Love and Loss

This week one of the world's greatest blues legends, Ms. Etta James, passed away.  I usually am not one to dwell on a famous person that dies.  It happens all of the time, after all, and I don't really know them personally, but this one has stuck with me this week.  On the way home from the grocery, I found myself going to her play list again and thinking about what a void was left with her passing.  So much of her music has been a soundtrack for my life.  She and Aretha have been my soul sisters in good times and bad, pulling me through the heartache, singing me through the triumphs.  They are the score of one of my dearest friendships, the background to our travel, conversations, and laughter.  I could sing every note of every song, tell you where she took every breath in every phrase, feel my heart ache in my chest and the earth stop on it's axis when she went to the basement and took us with her.  And I think that through her music, we know her better than anyone perhaps.  It doesn't get any more intimate to me than the feelings and heartache that go into song.  It is the most emotionally vulnerable place I know when I sing and I have watched her put all of who she is into song after song.  

Three years ago (or so...they all run together after awhile) she came to Louisville for one of her final tours.  It was tremendous to see her live and in person.  She was no bigger than a minute and had to be escorted by her son (also her drummer) onto stage.  She got to her chair and liquid gold came out of her mouth.  She bumped and grinded and growled and panted and sang and wailed for two hours.  I was speechless for all of it.  Her voice only got better with age, going from a gravelly voiced girl to a sultry and confident woman.  She struggled for much of her life and that heartache was personified in her songs.  There is a chasm that is left in the world of blues with her passing.  She will never be replaced.  

While everyone knew her best for "At Last", it was when she was in the basement that I loved her the most.  Her version of "Ball and Chain" is my all time favorite.  I hope she finds peace in the next life.  Lord knows she didn't have much of it in this one.  I know she will be sorely missed.


Onward and upward...

This past weekend I walked the dog at the Mount where Steven runs the Mary Anderson Center for the Arts.  The grounds are stunning, with almost 500 acres of pristine land that has a lake and lots of trails on the property.  It always has been a favorite spot for me and my family.  It was a dreary, rainy, foggy day and it was absolutely beautiful.  I should have brought my real camera, but the phone had to do. 

Angel sculpture on east side of the lake.

Mist in the woods.  Fishing boats at the shoreline.  I love it when the water is like glass.
The coming weeks here will be us honing the project list and trying to figure out exactly what we will be able to afford to do.  There is no end to the projects, especially in a century old home.  I actually think I am going to go ahead and start the seeds for the lettuces and greens in the next couple of weeks.  If I can get a few nights of temps above freezing, I will be planting.  Stupid, stupid winter.  I had a swarm of gnats in the back yard this afternoon.  In January.  Til then, more walks and food are on the agenda.  Recipes are coming! 

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