October 2, 2018
"I really like the way you - hey, is that a bag of chips!?"
Welcome back, my devil in the dark. My teasing companion for so many long, lonely nights. I’d like to say I missed you, but we both know that would be a lie. I don’t know what comforts I give you, but they’re most certainly not worth it for me.
And here we are.
I have much to learn, gentle reader. About mindfulness. About living in the present. About faith in the future. I write about this stuff all the time, but the lessons keep repeating. That’s the way it works. You keep going through the same thing over and over and over until at last you get it right. True confession: I hate my head sometimes. It runs away and I try to reel it back in, but the reeling is tough, especially as the clock ticks mercilessly past 4:00 a.m.
So here we are.
We had a great and goofy day yesterday. A day off was welcome, even though our favourite thing is to play shows. We had a run of several gigs in a row, so it was cool to not really have a schedule for a change. We were staying at a nice hotel in Apolda, basking in the glow of a really fun festival show the night before. Our hotel was the Gasthaus Zum Schlachthof, which sounds soothing enough until you realize that “schlachthof” translates to slaughterhouse in English.
Um … what’s the history here?
Don’t know and don’t want to know. What’s worth knowing is that we joined our friend Tanja and her sister Kerstin for a somewhat leisurely breakfast in Apolda, across the street from where the stage was the night before. I say “somewhat” only because there’s nothing remotely leisurely about driving in Tanja’s little Fiat. It’s a bit like riding a roller coaster at Canada’s Wonderland, except the roller coasters are safer and don't make you fear quite as intensely for your life.
Anyway, breakfast included eggs and bacon. Bliss! And such good coffee. We only scared two people out of the restaurant, which means we’re finally starting to achieve a kind of decorum in our conduct. Mind you, Tanja parked illegally, so there’s still some work to do, but in our defence she’s German, which means it’s not our fault.
After breakfast we packed up for a drive to Furth, Germany, to the home of superfans Lexi and Kerstin. We were on our way to that most treasured of tour diversions: a home-cooked dinner. Mercy, mercy, mercy. We’ve eaten some great food along the way, but nothing beats sitting at someone’s table and taking in real nutrition. And not just nutrition in the form of food – nutrition in the form of conversation. You are all the things you ingest. Information, energy, experience, music … it’s all in you. We needed to spend quality time in someone’s house.
Kerstin made us a fabulous Thai curry full of vegetables and spices and goodness. It was served with fluffy white rice and it was delicious. Lexi and Kerstin are and have been so generous to us. They are very, very special people and we are so grateful for everything they do on our behalf. It was a wonderful evening and it did us good.
After dinner we went back to the hotel. Sarah needed sleep and she crashed hard. Like, 11 hours of sleep hard. When she went to bed, Ken, Deni, and I stayed up once again being the guys in the band. It was more music talk and more laughs, as ever. I haven’t said as much about the lads this time around as I did last time. I guess I’m assuming you’ve been following along since last November and these guys are just as much your friends as mine.
They really are my friends, you know. When you travel as closely as we do (physically and otherwise, as you can tell by the photo above), you get to know people well. They’re both stand-up guys and I’m as honoured as ever to play with them. It’s not always easy on the road, as I’ve tried to show you in some of these posts, but the company makes all the difference. They are always cool. Always up for it. Always ready to help. Always so freakin’ funny. I love them both.
Well, you don’t need me to tell you about Sarah. As Deni says, she’s a weapon.
And now, Sister Amy, I want to tell you that the first oranges appeared yesterday. Picture yourself driving down a two-lane highway. You’re in the passenger’s seat. Look to your right and see a low, wide countryside stretch out as far as the eye can see. In the distance there are dark hills shrouded in mist. Look closer. See the wind turbines like tiny scarecrows against the silver sky. The clouds above are grey and wispy. There is rain in the air. Beneath them are brown and green fields, dotted here and there by remnants of an ancient forest. Full, green maple trees. Tall evergreens.
Pull your eyes closer, past a thicket of maples to a little valley by the road. It looks a bit like your back yard. There are new trees there, reaching bravely up. Among them is a solitary sapling almost waving at you. Its leaves have begun to turn – a simmering auburn that, in another week or so, will burst into magnificent flame.
Yes, your back yard. Sister Amy, you asked me to describe the landscapes. The truth is you only need to look out your window and imagine.
You can see them for yourself.