Jun 10, 2012
Apr 28, 2011
Okay, so...I'm not a poet. Not by any far stretch of the imagination. I am, however, lucky enough to be friends with a number of extremely talented poets like Sara Brooke Blanton and Shanna Hale who have this tradition of writing letters to the world on their birthdays. Their poems are beautiful, succinct snapshots of self-reflection. The words they weave are inspirational and thought provoking and TRUE, and I wanted to attempt a similar kind of letter. Mostly because all of these poets inspire me a lot.
I've been thinking a lot lately about calling and purpose and the general WHY of my existence. This is the result. My letter in free verse. For you...and the rest of the world, on my 26th.
I know it's late, but I've never been early. ;)
To The World On My 26th Birthday
(c) 2011 Emmeline
Manifest destiny is more than a 19th century construct
More than two explorers plunging fearlessly
FerociouslyInto unconquered territory
Poking rivals with rifles and claiming ownership of lived-in lands
More than a continental congress
Determined to spread colonization like a social plague
Wielding war like a wildfire
An inevitable fate for all who dare to defy the divine providence of
From sea to shining sea
More than the prostitution of democracy to all who look twice
At a rag-tag band of thieves
Suiting up to be the stuff of legends
Manifest destiny is a state of mind
That extends beyond the mountains and the prairies
And the oceans white with a rabid, insatiable hunger for shore
It’s not fate.
It’s not even a belief.
At twenty-six, I’ve led a quarter-century march
From the capitol to the coalmines
Peering through branches and striking through shrubs
Trying desperately to leave a mark
And perhaps I could have conquered my own nation
Sequestered my own stretch of soil between two opposing tides
But marks fade
Paths succumb to new growth
And scars are impermanent
Even in spirit
And so, as I sit
Fingers exploring a terrain of loose threads on a childhood quilt
I realize that my mission has grown as tired as my hands
And my ceaseless motivation
My manifest destiny has become nothing more
Than a desperate wish
To do something
To be something
To mean something
Manifest destiny is more than a 19th century construct;
And the pursuit of it
The hope for it
The need of it
Is the only permanence I know.
My quest to do something more has led me to host One Night Stand, a benefit concert in which allied and LGBTQ artists unite to promote acceptance through music. The party starts at 7 PM at Lakewood Bar & Grill, 6340 Gaston Avenue in Dallas, TX, and all of the $10 cover goes directly to The Trevor Project, an organization that helps to prevent suicide in young LLGBTQ teens.
If you're not going to be in Dallas, you can stream the show live from http://www.thestage.tv. Either way, it's a cause worth supporting.
Here's to another year of music, and one step closer to a giant positive impact.
Apr 7, 2011
Mar 30, 2011
Hey, friends! I'm writing to you from a Starbucks in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where the cutest kid in the world just waved and said hi to me ten times before his mother dragged him out the door.
Remember when your biggest concern was whether or not the stranger to whom you were waving would say hi back? Man, I miss those days.
Well, kind of. Being able to drink coffee is a pretty nifty perk of adulthood. I'm no longer worried that it'll stunt my growth. In fact, I'm no longer worried that it'll keep me awake either. ;)
I'm writing to share the following lyrics from Ani DiFranco's "Evolve:"
so i walk like i'm on a mission
'cause that's just the way i groove
i've got more and more to do
i've got less and less to prove
it took me too long to realize that i don't take good pictures
'cause i've got the kind of beauty that moves
Such a simple thought, right? "I've got the kind of beauty that moves." When I was younger, though, these lyrics hit me like a freight train. Like most teenage girls, I was frustrated beyond belief with my inability to be photogenic. Then, I heard that verse from "Evolve," and I realized that it didn't matter how I looked in pictures. I had the kind of beauty that moved, and that--the desire to evolve and improve and progress and keep putting one foot in front of the other, even when the glare of the flash demanded that I stand still--meant more than any 5x7 ever could.
I share this with you guys because I think it's so important to love yourself. Each and every one of you has changed my life for the better, whether you know it or not. Your beauty isn't stagnant. It moves and inspires me every day, and I wanted you to know that.
I'm technically on tour right now, watching the rain come down in a grey but beautiful Tuscaloosa, Alabama. We're calling it the Poetry In Motion tour because my goal is to create the kind of music that moves. I don't want to create art that's beautiful for a moment. I want to create art that breathes and changes and makes you feel things. I want to write words that stay in motion--circling your thoughts and sticking with you when you need them most.
So...that's my piece. The Poetry In Motion Tour. It's a tour that wouldn't have been possible without your support, your love, and the beauty within you. So thanks for making my dreams come true. Thanks for being you.
And next time you stare at a picture and get frustrated, know that you're more than beautiful to me; you're everything. Because you have the kind of beauty that moves, and you've already moved me more than you know.
Feb 10, 2011
Greetings from the arctic tundra that is Dallas, TX!
Weird, right? Texas is usually warm. In fact, when I lived in California, I would frequently complain about how it was probably warmer in Texas. Now, my buddies in So Cal are laughing at our snow-covered sidewalks and bragging about their 70* walks to Coffee Bean.
I have a teeny, tiny addiction to Coffee Bean. And, by "teeny, tiny," I mean "giant and shameful." If you live near one, I highly suggest getting a Black Forest...and then telling the cashier/manager/barista that they need a location in Dallas. :)
I'm writing because I feel like it's been forever and a day since I rambled to you guys about the beauty that is life right now. In the last two weeks, I've had four snow days. I feel kind of like a 6-year-old. I went outside with my puppies and ran around in the snow and fell down a lot. 'Cause, you know, I'm graceful like that. I also sat inside and drank apple cider and wrote songs by my space heater. One of them is called "Obvious," and I've been playing it live lately. It's about Facebook-stalking your exes and why that's probably not such a great idea.
So far, I've had the opportunity to play a lot of really wonderful shows in 2011. My first big show on January 22nd was at Labyrinth Walk Coffee House in Oak Cliff, where I had the honor of opening for the amazingly talented folk artist Andrew McKnight. The entire show was done by candlelight and spotlight, and the audience was magical. Andrew's set was magical. Really, the whole evening was something that I'll carry with me forever. People stood up and clapped at the end of my set, and I almost fell over from shock and surprise and joy. I was so, so honored.
I did a lot of bouncing around after the show was over. I even jumped on the bed in celebration.
There are so many cool things that we have planned for the rest of this year. Jerry and Mandy, two really cool people, have agreed to help me so I can play more shows and make more records. Together, we're an E Team. We're working on spandex costumes and capes. I am maybe more excited about these outfits than they are. (Actually, I'm not sure they know about the spandex yet. You probably shouldn't tell them.) You can meet them here: http://www.emmelinemusic.com/id51.html.
Also...THE EP IS OUT!!!!
I'm so stoked about this. Thank you SO much to everyone who's bought the record. If you haven't bought the record, you can check it out at http://www.emmelinemusic.com/id50.html for a special "snow day" sale price of $5. (They're usually $7.)
Funny story. Two years ago, I played my first show with Steve Jackson, Josh Cooley, Phoenix Hart, and Meredith Dobbs.
Remember when I wrote that blog after the show saying that I wanted to do this forever? I still want to play music forever. I want it more now than I wanted it then.
I'm so grateful to be able to do this. Seriously. It's 12:58 AM. I spent tonight trucking through the ice to play a few guitar songs for people in a bar, and it was still one of the coolest nights of my life.
Thanks for everything that you've done to get me here. Your support means the world. I know I gush a lot, but I mean every word. I'm so blessed, and that's all because of the love that you've shown me.
It's now 1:01 AM. I have an episode of Glee in my Hulu cue. Somewhere, Puck and Quinn and Artie are calling my name.
I hope 2011 is treating you guys well so far. I'm sending you only good vibes. And snowballs. :)
Love you. Mean it.