I'm pretty sure "steeeriike" is used in baseball, not bowling, but that's about par for the course (golf?) for me and sports. I just had to add this video my friend Al posted last night of probably one of my only strikes ever. Once in a blue moon shit right here. And I act like I don't care. Because I have to be emotionally detached from bowling since I am so terrible at it and it hurts my thumb and ankle.
Once as a kid at a birthday party at the bowling alley in Ramsey, NJ I ended up getting my finger stuck in a bowling ball and nearly had to get a ring cut off my finger because Jenn + sports = disaster and there are so many jokes in how me 'n balls don't mix.
But here we are winding up and letting her roll at Lanes & Games, a Cambridge, MA institution, that will be closing in a few weeks and replaced with luxury condos, because: Cambridge. But my friends and I had one last hurrah and it was really fun. Only one person had a ball fall on her head (because: beer) and she didn't end up with a concussion and it wasn't me. I'm only slightly bruised today.
Lanes & Games: forever in our hearts. (Also I need to figure out how I can get a pair of these bowling shoes. I've always wanted them.)
There may be no crying in baseball, but that’s why I much prefer music to baseball. So pack the tissues and get ready to let those feeling through at the Newport Folk Festival. It’s good for your spirit.
This is the first year in a long time I won’t be attending the festival. That in itself is something to cry about. My sisters and my husband and I usually all go. We have some things going on in the family this year and the timing didn't work out for anyone. Luckily through the power of technology you can usually catch some lives sets from the festival online.
So here are some sets I’m sure I’ll cry through, from afar.
Wilco on Saturday! Never miss a chance to see Wilco! They feel like a warm bath on a psychedelic day. When they closed Friday night of the festival in 2012 my husband and I were misty the whole time. I especially loved “California Stars” and “Airline to Heaven.” (You can find this set on NPR’s website.)
Go see the Fleet Foxes on Friday! I have the best memory of walking down the path by the Fort Stage in 2009 with my sister Mary Beth and hitting that spot where the speakers are super loud. Fleet Foxes were were playing “Sun It Rises” and I’ve never seen my sister so happy. She didn’t even really have words, was just smiling and shaking her head. Someone caught a photo of her in front of a huge tie-dye flag with a peace symbol on it and I swear it’s a picture of her soul. Tears were shed. (You can find this set on NPR’s website as well.)
My husband was unable to go to a lot of the festivals with me for years because of his job as a cook. But then finally I dislodged him from that thankless kitchen in 2008. He started crying practically the moment Brandi Carlile began singing. I hadn’t warned him about involuntary face-rain. I’m bummed we won’t be there to cry together through Michael Kiwanuka singing “Cold Little Heart” on Sunday.
But the festival isn’t just about cathartic crying through songs! There’s always other cool stuff happening. From the Newport Folk Festival Facebook page: “Stop by the Newport Festivals Foundation tent this weekend to learn how you could win this one-of-a-kind Lucius 7" record. Big thanks to Lucius and Electric Lady Studios for this awesome donation to help the Foundation and it's education initiatives. #folkfamily.” You can always dry your tears with some (hopefully free) merch.
In “Murder In the City,” The Avett Brothers sing, “Make sure my sister knows I loved her / Make sure my mother knows the same / Always remember, there was nothing worth sharing / Like the love that let us share our name.” It gives me chills even thinking of it. So, please go see the Avett Brothers Saturday for me, folk family, and know that the name we share is music.
Jenn Sutkowski hopes to catch Nikki Lane, Suzanne Vega and Whitney’s sets online, and hey, will someone bring her a Mediterranean plate and some Tallulah’s tacos? Find her crying over spilt music at jennsutkowski.com. (PS. This is a would-have-been Full Frontal column had I gotten it to my editor extraordinaire, Janine Weisman, in time to actually make it into the paper this week. So I'm posting it here instead.)
Gosh, I hope you all slept better than I did last night during the full thunder moon! Two things that helped:
Drawing, and this awesome flower essence blend called Flora-Sleep from FES Flowers. I love anything with the word "quiescent" on it. Even if this is, you know, the only thing I have with "quiescent" on it. (FES Flowers rocks. Their Yarrow Environmental Solution is excellent too.)
So much love to you! Quiescent times and transcendent rhymes!
Some random erectile dysfunction remedy company keeps following, unfollowing and following me again on Instagram. I love that they're helping people with ED, which is so real, to quote Jeff Buckley (though I'm pretty sure he wasn't talking about ED in that song), but fortunately not something I suffer from.
That said, I do think it's pertinent to get it up and keep it up. And I'm talking about your VIBRATION! I met with an intuitive recently who helped me so much and one of the best things she taught me was about how not to process other people's feelings through my body (a thing I've done as long as I can remember, and by which I am always exhausted).
Here's what she said: When you walk into a room and find out what the prevailing feeling is -- like if someone is feeling guilty or sad or in pain and you know because you know -- instead of processing those people's feelings through your body and meeting the people where they are vibration-wise, send out a prayer or meditation of loving kindness: "May all beings be happy, may all beings be safe, may all beings be at peace." Keep your vibration high by doing that and people can choose energetically to meet you there or stay where they are.
I learned about entrainment recently, a property of physics where the vibrations will end up switching to whatever the strongest vibration is. This is one of the reasons why I'm often angry and irritated and entitled in Cambridge. Don't have much of a choice when the vibe is very strong. But you can work on your own. It's what I'm trying to do. I love the idea that people can just naturally pop up to your vibration if it's strong enough.
I was thinking recently about the lessons I'm meant to learn here. Not everyone believes we choose our lives and our families and my inner jury is still out on that. But assuming for a minute we do, what the hell am I supposed to learn? I believe it is that as a very sensitive person I'm meant to get better at boundaries, protect my sacred creative space in my heart so I can create even with the noise of needy chaos pounding at my ears. And then that makes me wonder -- yeesh, what's the next life going to be like what with this mere training ground? But let's not get too ahead of ourselves.
So the task is to have good enough boundaries and to take oneself out of toxic shit so we can create the light work we are meant to. And if you don't believe in that "meant to" noise, well then so that we can create the work and the light in the world that we want to. Want to, meant to, just as valid.
May all beings be happy, may all beings be safe, may all beings be at peace. You're all riding high already. Let's see if we can't gently suggest, energetically, with the strength of our own loving kindness, others join us at that high vibe.
A funny trickster move (as Liz Gilbert calls it in Big Magic) aspect to this action is that sometimes it takes realizing we are helping others to invest in our own self care. So like if you're having a hard time nurturing yourself by saying no to complainers or you "feel bad" for them because you were blessed, like me, with feeling their shizzz, know that you're doing them far more good sending out high vibration prayers of loving kindness than meeting them in the muck.
I mean, sure, meet your people in the muck and hear them. I'm not suggesting you advise the shit out of them. I'm suggesting a quiet maintenance of high vibe where they can come meet you as opposed to bringing the shitty feelings (that aren't yours) into your body. And where you're helping is that you're giving others the opportunity for their spirits to choose to meet you somewhere that feels a lot better than muck. What good are two peeps at shit level? No good!
Misery loves company, but so does loving kindness, which feels so much better.
This all makes me think of Robyn Hitchcock's song "Grooving on an Inner Plane": "I don't know what you're going through / I hope I'm going through it too." "Ah, sock it to me, Reginald."
It's me, Jennifer Bernice (rhymes with "Furnace": it was my Granny's name) Sutkowski
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