I used to run.
Fast. And a lot.
It paid for college and gave me some great friends.
But that was a lifetime ago.
Now I’m much slower and I exercise solely to make room for donuts and to turn my brain off.
Nashville has some of the most beautiful greenways and our old house was steps away from the trail head.
In the mornings I’d wake up before the sun, throw on my headphones and shoes, and hit the trail.
I saw the same people every single day.
We never said a word to each other (way too early for that).
We’d just wave.
And everyone’s wave was different:
There was Professor Deadpan who smiled only with his ears, dressed for work, and waved like he was swatting at a bee.
Jacques Cou-slow ambled along in a knit cap regardless of the weather and waved with a sideways karate chop that looked like he was petting a pony or saying “that’s enough.”
Eura Indaway, who’s dog insisted on walking her on the wrong side of the path, had a wave like she was saying “I’m 5 years old.”
My wave has always been a lazy, half-open peace sign. (More of a “little Bunny Foofoo” now that I think about it.)
When you wave to the same people every day you start to feel like you know them.
I made the mistake of saying “Hey!” to Candace Cadaver-hand at the grocery store and she looked at me like I had 10 heads.
It was suddenly clear that, no…we don’t really know one another.
We just wave.
Yes, it is cozy.
But it’s a coziness reserved for sunrise on the trail.
One morning I was running along the tall grass when an idea for a song shot me in the head:
I had…the best title…for the best song…ever.
I unlocked my phone to type the golden title into my notes.
But Professor Deadpan was waving at me.
So rather than stop and type it carefully I just sort of blindly smashed it in with my thumbs while waving back at him and continuing to run.
When I got back home my amazing idea for the best song ever was…lost forever.
My phone had autocorrected it to read “Her and Hymns.”
Luckily I knew exactly what that song would be about: My mom.
I brought the idea to my co-write that day with Michael White. And I am so ducking grateful for autocorrrect.
Because we ended up with this.
This Is Pretty Cool:
1. A ring tailed lemur and a red river hog became mommies at the Cheyenne Zoo this week. Baby lemurs and baby red river hogs are pretty dang cute.
2. During my first ever writing session with Michael White I went on and on about an Alan Jackson song that I love called Dancing All Around It.
Michael was shoving 7 pieces of gum in his mouth which he tends to do while writing and smiled at me in a way that said “I have really fresh breath and I wrote that song.”
5. Brian Thibodeau has designed my album covers and T-shirts since “Everything Just Happened…” We’ve been pals since 6th grade. Last year he painted my portrait over zoom while we chatted about lockdown, creativity, and family. It was part of a series he called “Quarantined Portraits.” He just published them all in a book. I love everything he creates. But these are really special. Portraits of people being listened to and looked at when we were all needing more attention and connection.
6. Update: Toonces + Britney
Y’all say hey when you get a sec,