you wreck me

“Go after what you really love and find a way to make that work for you, and then you’ll be a happy person.”

 

A bright light has gone out.

 

What can I say that hasn’t already been said a thousand times by people more qualified than me? Tom Petty was a true artist, and even though I never had the pleasure of meeting him, I’ve spent the last few days actively grieving his passing. Tom Petty‘s music is Americana at its best. He was a gifted storyteller, with a knack for expressing deep, universal truths with a distinctive turn of phrase. Tom Petty was able to unify people through his music in a way that we are currently in desperate need of in this country: he spoke to all of us, and he spoke for all of us.

 

He was prolific, he was unique, his later work was just as relevant and strong (if not stronger than) his early work, and he did it all on his own terms. You might not be familiar with Petty’s later work (he went from being a radio darling to a radio pariah after releasing The Last DJ, a scathing attack on the music industry that resulted in his newer songs being largely ignored), but I urge you to seek it out. Highway Companion elevated Petty to elder statesman status, Mojo is a celebration of the blues, and 2014’s Hypnotic Eye is proving to be a prophetic take on the current climate.

 

Tom Petty made the world a better place through his music. In short, he achieved everything an artist hopes to achieve…and I’m eternally grateful for the gifts he’s left us.

 

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Please revisit this post I wrote back in March of 2016…I’m pretty sure I’ll be taking that Warren Zanes biography for another spin before too long.

i need to know

wave that flag

The Curtis Memorial Library “How-To Festival and Block Party” was on Saturday, September 16th, and if you were one of the over 800 people who attended, you already know how much fun it was! The four-hour event was packed with activities such as face painting, bubble making, weaving, live music, and all kinds of different workshops which took place both inside and outside the library. The warm, sunny weather combined with the fact that Middle Street was closed to traffic made the atmosphere truly festive.

My table was set up right outside the library entrance, and my workshop theme was “paint a community prayer flag”. I had a huge stack of different decorative papers that were primed and ready to go, a big plastic tub filled with acrylic paints, and a large selection of brushes of all shapes and sizes. People of all ages were encouraged to (and did) participate, but it seemed like the bravest ones who stopped by were the kids! These did not look like what you would call “traditional” prayer flags, but the intent was very similar: putting out positive energy into the community and beyond. Here are some photos from the day!

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Did you attend the “How-To Festival And Block Party”? If so, what did you think? Please let me know in the comments section!

master of puppets

On Saturday, September 2nd, I attended a performance by Bread and Puppet Theater (the “Our Domestic Insurrection Circus”) at Fort Allen Park in Portland. This was a real treat for me, since every other time I’ve seen Bread and Puppet, it’s been in Glover, Vermont – not exactly right around the corner from Brunswick!

 

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My first time experiencing Bread and Puppet was over 20 years ago (how is that possible?)  – back then, it was the “Our Domestic Resurrection Circus”. Even though all that time has passed, some things remain the same: you can still count on Bread and Puppet for bold, thought-provoking, political performance art that is filled with humor, insight, and beauty. The crowd at Fort Allen Park was treated to a spirited performance that was simultaneously biting and hopeful, calling for the formation of a new political party – the Possibilitarians – to work together for positive change. The park was full, and at times it was difficult to hear because we were so far back, but our vantage point gave us a great view of the enormous papier-mache and cardboard puppets. Packing all of that work onto their converted school bus and still having room for the troupe must be quite a feat! Here are some photos in case you weren’t there to experience it for yourself.

 

B&P flags

B&P big hug

B&P forest dwellers

B&P washer woman

B&P migrants

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B&P donation

 

If you’re interested in finding out more before planning a trip to the Northeast Kingdom, a quick search on the Curtis Memorial Library website turns up several selections that are available through the inter-library loan. Check it out!