Crisp blue skies of the early Swedish morning blessed me as I made my way to my first day of school last Monday. This day had been a long time coming, and it was with a mix of apprehension and a kind of nauseous excitement that I hopped on the city bus to the first of many introduction meetings.
Ah, the glories of being a student: the comfort of constant structure, the intrepid souls that haunt university halls, and of course, looking forward to that satisfying feeling of crossing tasks off of the syllabi to-do list. After a few years of hibernation, my Type A alter-ego reemerges with keen eyes.
My apprehension, though, manifests itself as a kind of disbelieving, dizzy feeling that reverberates through my bones. In the last two years I’ve stayed for moderately short and long whiles in about 13 different international localities, through the mist of tangible and ever-changing cultures and languages, as well as a myriad of apartments–12 in Berlin alone. I’ve become comfortable with having many homes away from home, perhaps because the rate of change is constant. Moving to Gothenburg for this two year program, though, is a bit like hurling myself off one of those old-school, dizzyingly treacherous merry-go-rounds we used to have at school. I tell myself it’s good to be on steady ground, yet I’m reeling from the sharp and sudden change in inertia.
As many of you know, the life of an artist can involve an especially multi-dimensional complexity that often makes little sense in the moment. It requires tons of trust in those you work with and often, a blind faith in the path. The myriad of doubts, challenges, questions, experiences, invigorations, and discoveries then creates a world unlike any other. The meandering road becomes the life which becomes the art.
Speaking of wandering routes, I’ll finally tie in the connection to this Gillian Welch tune: an artist’s frustrations, quips, and remedies for the changing and too often meager landscape of making it as a musician. Like all of her songs, this piece is sheer and real and cuts like a tooth. It’s one of Suz and my favorites, and we hope you enjoy.