Wednesday List #28 – Words of Travis Meadows

When I was in Nashville, I heard a good bit of live music. One of my favorites was a guy named Travis Meadows. He introduced himself by saying that he found songwriting to be a place where he could bleed safely. I think that about writing generally, so I immediately took a liking to him. All through the night, I found myself jotting down things he said and lines from songs he sang. Here are some that really struck me.

  1. “I’ve been cleaning out a lot of emotional closets lately.”
  2. “I’m almost at the age where there is less future than there is past.”
  3. “I’m going to get strong enough not to be ashamed of my old scars.”
  4. “I don’t know much but I do know love, and that’s enough to one who needs it.”
  5. “I had a really bad day that lasted for six years.”
  6. “Reach like you know it’s waiting there.”
  7. “I’ve found letting go of what you hold dear leaves your heart and arms a little more wide open.”
  8. “I’m not famous for making wise decisions.”
  9. “I want to make peace with old ghosts, not piss them off.”

I loved his music. I’m grateful for his words and the example he set for me as someone who is willing to be honest and vulnerable. I hope I’ll have another opportunity to see him perform again soon. If you get to hear him before I do, know that I’m jealous. And let me know what you thought.

Wednesday List #27 – Favorite Songs

I’ve got music on the brain, possibly because I spent the weekend in Nashville and went out for live music three of the four nights that I was there. This is a list of songs that I think are worth your time:

  1. “A Life That’s Good,” by the Stella sisters of the TV show Nashville: It’s my new theme song. “Sitting here tonight, by the fire light, it reminds me I already have more than I should. I don’t need a thing. No one to know my name. At the end of the day, Lord I pray, I have a life that’s good. Two arms around me, heaven to ground me, and a family that always calls me home. Four wheels to get there, enough love to share and a sweet sweet sweet song. At the end of the day, Lord I pray, I have a life that’s good.”
  2. “Mine Would Be You” by Blake Shelton: This is my new favorite love song. “What’s your all time high? Your good as it gets? Your hands down best ever make-up sex? What’s your guilty pleasure? Your old go to? Well, if you asked me, mine would be you….What’s your double dare? Your go all in? The craziest thing you ever did? Plain as your name in this tattoo. Look on my arm, mine would be you…What’s the greatest chapter in your book? Are there pages where it hurts to look? What’s the one regret you can’t work through? You got it, baby, mine would be you.”
  3. “Hold Me Darlin'” by Vicci Martinez: This is a song I wish I’d written. “Who am I now? Who was I then? What am I doing, baby? Who have I been? What am I worth to you? Is it even much? But I said I’m sorry. Are you giving up? Please don’t give up. Hold me darlin. Hold me please. I am sorry. I am weak. I pray for forgiveness and to be free. So hold me darlin’. Hold me please. It’s a good thing, baby. We just need some space. But I’m getting tired of looking at this empty place. I know you’re keeping busy. Is that why we’re out of touch? But my instinct tells me that you’re giving up. Please don’t give up.”
  4. “Glitter in the Air” by Pink: If I could be a rock star for one day, I’d want to be Pink and sing this song. “Have you ever looked fear in the face and said I just don’t care?…Have you ever hated yourself for staring at the phone your whole life waiting on the ring to prove you’re not alone? Have you ever been touched so gently you had to cry? Have you ever invited a stranger to come inside?…Have you ever held your breath and asked yourself will it ever get better than tonight?”
  5. “Keep it to Yourself” by Kacey Musgraves: If I wrote lyrics, I’d want to write like Kacey Musgraves. “You turn on the light then you turn it back off. You’re sleeping alone. Yeah it ain’t what you thought. It’s the drip of the sink. It’s the click of the clock. And you’re wondering if I’m sleeping. You heard from your friends that I’m doing okay. And you thinking that maybe you made a mistake. And you want me to know but I don’t want to know how you’re feeling. Keep it to yourself if you think that you still love me. Put it on a shelf. If you’re looking for someone, make it someone else.”

I have listened to each of these songs again and again in the last few weeks. They are my current favorites. What are yours?

Rediscovering Austin.

This was a throwback weekend. Last night, I went to a concert at the Cactus Cafe on the University of Texas campus, and this morning, I ran the ten-mile loop around Lady Bird Lake. Years ago, I did both frequently, but I can’t remember the last time I did either.

BruceElizabeth suggested the Cactus Cafe, and I was quick to jump at the opportunity when she said Bruce Robison was playing. I’ve loved him since the mid-1990s, and I used to go to his shows regularly, but in my older age, late nights are harder for me than they once were. So an 8:30 show at the Cactus was right up my alley. And even better than being early, it was just Bruce and his guitar. I love, love, love a man and his guitar. And when that man is Bruce? That’s a damn fine evening.

He took requests and played songs of his that I’d never heard. In some instances, he was surprised that people knew particular songs, and in others, he hadn’t played them in so long that he had to ask the audience to help him remember what the first lines were. It was incredible. I can listen to him sing for hours and hours.

I had intended to leave his show around 10:00 pm to get home for an early run the next morning, but I didn’t. I couldn’t. I had too good a seat and it was too good a show to walk out early. What a gift of an evening.

Then this morning, I met Erin for a run. She suggested we run the 10-mile loop, which I hadn’t done in over a decade since my days of training with Austin Fit. I had been meaning to ask someone to show me the route because I remember it involved some turns that weren’t obvious, but I hadn’t gotten around to it. So this morning, I jumped at the chance to run it with Erin.

Erin is faster than I am, so she pushed me pretty hard. It was fun to work and fun to run a “new” part of the trail. Riverside Drive has definitely changed since I last ran over there. It’s far more developed, and the trail along the lake was prettier than I remembered it being. I’m excited to add that longer route into my rotation of options for long runs.

It’s been a rich weekend. It felt like I was re-discovering my town, if that makes sense. And it made me wonder what else this area has to offer that I haven’t tried or that I haven’t done in a long time. I haven’t been to Pedernales Falls or McKinney Falls since probably college. I haven’t been to the Wildflower Center or any nurseries in a long time. I haven’t been to the Broken Spoke in a long while, and I really should go considering the recent lessons I’ve been taking. I’ve not ever been to Wimberley except for a visit a year or so ago to Blue Hole, which was stunning. I’ve been meaning to check out the Dripping Springs library.

There’s a lot I can do here. This weekend was a good reminder that I live in a wonderful place. I just need to get out and enjoy it.