Ordinary Elephant

Nomadic Roots/Folk Duo

Nomadic Roots/Folk Duo

Raw & unedited

Thinking back on the last few months and trying to decide what, of all that has transpired, should be shared in our March newsletter, I (this is Crystal talking) was reminded of a journal entry I wrote in early January that started with the words “Downsizing, distilling, determining what matters.” My mind also got to wandering about friends and fellow musicians’ newsletters and blogs and the content they share, and the beautiful songwriter K.C. Clifford came to mind. She recently shared photos from a session she did with no make-up or fancy clothes or photoshopping, and she writes about sharing herself in this way, raw and unedited, in her blog

That mental rabbit hole led to this. Below is that journal entry I mentioned. Raw and unedited. Exactly as it was typed into my Day One computer journal as we were concluding a massive downsizing of stuff to prevent the need for a long-term storage unit after transitioning from our motorhome to a van/travel trailer. There is something unnatural and uneasy about putting this unpolished thing out there, but we can all afford to be more vulnerable--thanks for the reminder K.C. 


January 10, 2017

Downsizing, distilling, determining what matters. That’s what this year, and really this life, is about. Going to try to keep this in the forefront of my mind.

I have always put everything into what I’m pursuing, and I don’t think that will ever change. What I am hoping will change, is that I will remember to take the time to figure out what it is that I really should be putting all of my energy into.

This isn’t a trial for some other life, although it feels like that at times—guess it’s our minds’ way of trying to not constantly freak us out. This is it. It’s not as if you have all this time to figure out what you’re supposed to do and how you’re supposed to do it, and then you have another life, or all this other time to do it right. You have right now. You have this life. And other than right now, not much else in this life is guaranteed to you. So again it comes down to balance, because thinking about that, really thinking about that, makes me simultaneously extremely anxious and dangerously devil-may-care. It can make you get worked up about needing to get things right, perfect even, because it’s the only chance you have—can’t afford to not make it perfect. But then on the other end of the spectrum, you realize it doesn’t matter how perfect things are—time will keep passing, with or without you—and maybe you shouldn’t take things so seriously, what does it really matter, does anything matter, would anyone notice if you were gone, what is this all for anyway…dangerously slippery slope. But that’s just it—you know time will keep passing, but you want those seconds, those minutes, to have your mark. You want to leave behind something that will make others swinging between those extremes find the stillness in their scales, find a balance that is workable.

Thinking of Darrell Scott’s song…I’ve walked crooked road to get where I need to go. It seems a roundabout path, but every destination is in part the path it took to get there, and would be less than it could be had the path been straighter. Every day is a crooked day, but I am happy to have found comfort in this crookedness. I am happy to think I know where it is I belong in this fray. My child-self knew it somewhere. At the toy room make-shift shelf-desk, in the ditch, in the tree, on a Schwinn on a back road, in English class, in countless coffee shops, in my head. I am a writer. I have a voice. Song is my medium.

Writing feels like home. I hope that the words I sing can make others feel like home.