After using the word 'edgy' to describe work I liked at last week's house concert (which was great, thank you Self & Soul Center), someone asked me what I was implying. By edgy I didn't mean irritable rather than innovative. I meant someone who knew the less shiny parts of living — the contradictions, the uncomfortable truths, the heartbreak, cravings, nameless itches and all-too-blatant injustices — and didn't turn away, but felt it, and made art of it, maybe, rather than medicating or sugar-coating or otherwise denying the real.
There's a lot of uncomfortable truth going on right now and I appreciate those willing to go to the edges more than ever. Perhaps I should take a break from reading the news, so full of more of the failings of humans (Everest, South Korea, the bigot in Nevada), rather than the triumphs, but I don't want to deny it either. Challenging and painful as forging something new can often be, creativity lives and breathes by the truth, not ignorance.
Read: I've taken a couple of workshops with wisdom teacher and writer Deena Metzger and always felt empowered at the possibility of effecting change and transformation through story afterward. To fix my current trip-up, I'm turning to her Entering the Ghost River: Meditations on the Theory and Practice of Healing and From Grief Into Vision: A Council today.
"There is a silence that is the heart of God. And there is another kind of silence that kills. We were shattered when we came home from Africa, but also we had been restored. We had been broken down, we had been reconstituted. Story can do this; it can take the sharp slivers and the shards and organize them into a light. This is a book or it is letter or it is a long conversation. A memoir, a series of stories, a meditation on despair and beauty and hope. A book of healing...."
Eat: Gluten-free and living in the Bay Area and missing the satisfaction that a good piece of bread can give? A lot of GF bread is not good--gummy, bland, not-all-that-easy-to-digest for its poorly proportioned mix of GF flours. Then a friend turned me onto Bread Srsly, a SF-based company that delivers most of its wares by bike! Very cool people behind this operation and their GF sourdough bread rocks. Plus they now ship.
Listen: Hurray for the Riff Raff, née Alynda Lee Segarra, a New Orleans based artist, has the edge and the soul going on: