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My Summer Days
Looking Back at My Season in the Sun
The end of summer approaches on the Autumnal Equinox on September 23. I am feeling nostalgic over the last three months that have passed. So much has happened. I often think about what it means to live a fulfilling life. I am not someone who makes a six-figure salary. There are no fancy cars or designer clothes. I like to think that I possess a different kind of richness. Looking back, this becomes more obvious.
Here is a highlight reel of my life from June 2023 and onward.
On June 2, I performed the third iteration of my multimedia show Ancestral Tongue at a special event in my neighborhood. It layered elements of storytelling, song, video vignettes, and dance.
That morning, my drummer had a disastrous spill while riding a bicycle. His ensuing absence from the performance lit a fire under me. I cannot remember ever having been so aggressive and committed to delivering a great performance. It was, in my mind, one of the strongest sets my guitarist Andrew and I have ever done. I learned an important lesson that night. If I am going to be vulnerable in front of a lot of people, do not hold back.
Around the middle of June, I tested positive for COVID-19 for the first time ever. I was sick for several days with a fever, body pain, fatigue, and headaches. Thankfully, I did not experience the severe respiratory issues that brought many people to hospital emergency rooms, but it was miserable, nonetheless.
On June 25, my partner treated me to a Tori Amos concert at the Ryman Auditorium in downtown Nashville. My life as a Tori enthusiast began many moons ago in a car while on a road trip to Savannah, Georgia. My friend started to play a few of her songs on CDs, and I was instantly hooked. At the concert, I sang the words “I am an M-I-L-F. Don’t you forget. M-I-L-F. Don’t you forget . . .” with the crowd. Her irreverence, crystal-clear artistic vision, and Bösendorfer piano magic were as strong as ever.
On July 1, I rescued three tiny kittens who appeared to be abandoned just up the road from our mailbox. They were so lost and fragile. I took them in and gave them food and cozy shelter. Two of them now live with friends of mine, and I kept one.
On July 28, I flew to Sarasota, FL with my sweet hubbie to visit his mom. It was a full weekend of meals, shopping with her, and visits to the beach, a circus museum, and a gorgeous botanical garden.
On August 8, I got a haircut. This seems rather mundane, but it was my first haircut since before the pandemic struck in 2020. I went to a new barber at the town square in Woodbury with a head full of tangles and dead ends. She gave me a trim and recommended all kinds of easy ways to keep my hair healthy and untangled. My hair has been amazing ever since.
On August 14, I attended a Counting Crows concert with my friend (and guitarist) Andrew. This band’s music was the soundtrack to my senior year of high school. That was a sad, intense, but incredibly formative period of my life. I have loved them ever since. They gave one heck of a great show and played almost all my favorite songs. It was damn near perfect.
I learned how to make banana bread. So far, I have made six batches across three different ovens. Each one has turned out better than the last. (Except the last one. I added too much salt.)
My little Japanese-style tea garden project has seen a lot of work in these warm months. More clearing and planting took place. Stones were gathered, and other foundational components were decided upon.
On August 28, I celebrated my birthday with less fanfare than usual. I launched my website and enjoyed meals with my parter and family. It was low-key and lovely. Truthfully, every day should feel like a birthday.
Sprinkled among these highlights are many laughs, hugs, countless conversations, and sunsets that stunned my eyes into submission. There were other noteworthy moments. My friends Andrew and Maggie came out to my place to paint our kitchen in August. (It feels brand new now.) We attended an incredible outdoor concert by the band Young the Giant. (The stage design literally melted my face.) I also witnessed two full Super Moons in one month.
I may not be wealthy in the modern and traditional ways that society demands, but my life and heart are full.
Each season of our lives should bring about its own richness. My summer days ebbed and flowed across sunlit valleys, sleepy hollows, and rooms where little lost souls found homes.
This past week, I went to the Liberty Arts Center in Liberty, TN. Housed inside a charming and historic two-story building, this place has showcased local and traveling musicians for many years. I finally got to go with a couple of friends of mine and enjoyed a performance by Tia McGraff and Tommy Parham. It was inspiring to watch them perform with such ease and skill, and as I sat in the audience, I was itching to get up to sing and play piano. It was a lot to take in, and I made the most of it.
All photos by Roqué Marcelo except where noted.
For more information, please visit www.roquemarcelo.com.
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