Avetts in October #19: Winter In My Heart

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Asheville, 2009

 

In anticipation of The Avett Brothers concert on October 25th, I’ve been writing  a series of blog posts connecting some of their lyrics to words of some of my favorite authors.

I’d tell myself to stop judging others. And then thirty seconds later, I’d do it again. This, I realized, is why I don’t like going to crowded parks. It’s not just that I don’t like all the other people. I don’t like the person I become.  – Lassoing the Sun – Mark Woods

I think there are times for many of us that we don’t care for the person we’ve become. There can be many reasons, such as  grief, loneliness, stress, or other reasons, that cause us to act like someone that we wouldn’t want to be friends with.  In Winter In My Heart, I feel the sadness and helplessness. I’ve been there. And the line, “I don’t know what the reasons are” is gripping. But, winter is a season, though it can sometimes a long one.

 

It must be winter in my heart

There’s nothing warm in there at all

I missed the summer and the spring

The floating yellow leaves of fall

 

 

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Avetts in October #18: I and Love and You

In talking about  how we act toward survivors when someone dies, Madeleine L’Engle said,

“What is there to say? Only, ‘I love you, and I care,’ and sometimes we are afraid to say even that.”

The Avetts have a song about telling someone you love them. I’ve mentioned it before and posted a video, but I think the version below is my favorite.

Three words that became hard to say

I and love and you

 

 

Avetts in October #17: Loss of a Dream

 

In anticipation of The Avett Brothers concert on October 25th, I am writing a series of blog posts connecting some of their lyrics to words of some of my favorite authors.

 

“Until I can mourn the loss of a dream I cannot be comforted enough to have vision for a fresh one.”  from The Irrational Season (1977)  by Madeleine L’Engle

 

There have been so many times over the years that things just didn’t turn out like I thought they would. But I’m a better woman for having gone through it.

 

I remember crying over you,

and I don’t mean like a couple of tears and I’m blue.

I’m talking about collapsing and screaming at the moon,

but I’m a better man for having gone through it.

Yes, I’m a better man for having gone through.

 

Avetts in October # 16: I have some better words now

 

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Me and Mom

 

Don’t know which I love most: No Hard Feelings or Through My Prayers. Post #15 was about Mom. This one’s for Mom, too.

 

 

“Now all my thoughts about them start with knowing they are gone.”  from Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry

 

The pages of the calendar kept turning away
I have some better words now, but it’s too late to say them to you…

And yes I know you loved me I could see it in your eyes
And it was in your struggle and it was in your mind
And it was in the smile you gave me when I was a kid…

-Through My Prayers

 

 

 

 

Avetts in October #15: Strange to Myself

 

In anticipation of The Avett Brothers concert on October 25th, I am writing a series of blog posts connecting some of their lyrics to words of some of my favorite authors.

 

“After she died, things seemed to go out of focus for awhile, and I felt strange to myself.”-from Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry

 

Every night after and every day since

I found myself crying when the memory hits

Sometimes it knocks me down, sometimes I can just put it away 

-Through My Prayers

 

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I could have penned all these words exactly after Mom died in 2018, and still today. I would have never thought to say “I felt strange to myself” but that is a perfect way of putting it. Sometimes still, the memories knock me down and I imagine they always will.

Avetts in October #14: Telling Stories

 

 

 

 

“…if you are writing without zest, without gusto, without love, without fun, you are only half a writer.”-   From Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury

According to Ray I must be a whole writer. I have love. I have fun. I have zest and gusto, though not every single time I sit down to face the page.

This zest, gusto, love, and fun are what come shining through when I hear The Avett Brothers. They inspire me. They have fun when they are sharing their gifts with others. Their lyrics illuminate the good and bad all around us. With love.

And they tell stories, as in  The Ballad of Love and Hate

It begins like this:

 

Love writes a letter and sends it to hate.

My vacation’s ending. I’m coming home late.

The weather was fine and the ocean was great

And I can’t wait to see you again.

 

Hate reads the letter and throws it away.

“No one here cares if you go or you stay.

I barely even noticed that you were away.

I’ll see you or I won’t, whatever.”

 

And tells such a story, ending with:

 

Love has been waiting, patient and kind.

Just wanting a phone call or some kind of sign,

That the one that she cares for, who’s out of his mind,

Will make it back safe to her arms.

 

Hate stumbles forward and leans in the door.

Weary head hung down, eyes to the floor.

He says “Love, I’m sorry”, and she says, “What for?”

“I’m yours and that’s it, whatever.

I should not have been gone for so long.

I’m yours and that’s it, forever.”

 

And here’s a cute video…

 

Avetts in October #13: Take Someone With You

 

In anticipation of The Avett Brothers concert on October 25th, I have been writing a series of blog posts connecting some of their lyrics to words of some of my favorite authors.

 

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My Lady and the Mountain – The Avett Brothers – (photo Summer, 2019)

 

 If you want to help the parks, the most important thing you can do is simply go to them – and take someone with you. Lassoing the Sun – Mark Woods

Mark Woods is a columnist for the Times-Union in Jacksonville, Florida. His book, Lassoing the Sun, began as a book on the National Parks but turned into something more. I highly recommend it. My online book club read it a few years ago and Mark graciously joined us in our online book chat.  I think he would like The Avett Brothers. 

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I brought you to the river to watch the fish swim by and lay around that grassy bank and breathe in that blue sky – The Avett Brothers – (Photo June, 2012)