Saturday, February 27, 2010

Full Moon

Oh, full moon,
I see the white light on the patio
and step out into the cold air in sock feet before bed.
I see the big bare oak tree a few houses down, black branches against the sky,
I hear the voices of geese, flying in the bright of night, coming back north,
Talking to each other in the air.
I smell woodsmoke and see a cloud of it rise from my neighbor's house across the fence.
Inside it's another night of so much the same, the same quality of light,
the same walls and sounds of heater and fridge, the house shifting.
Outside it's air and breeze, insects, stars, forever.
It's the sacred moon tonight,
And even though only a few moments I've spent on the steps outside the kitchen,
I'll take them with me to bed
And imagine away the ceiling
To the world I belong to, that goes and lives and changes every second,
I'll see the big white moon lighting up the land
This one great night a month.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Musical Influences for Petracovich: Aimee Mann

The first time I'd heard of her was in the back of Annie and Gary's toyota corolla, on the 101, headed for Largo in Hollywood, maybe somewhere around 2001..

"What's her name again?" I asked

They laughed and said "Aimee Mann".

Gary is pretty much single-handedly responsible for any knowledge I have of current music, and we trusted him enough to go to this concert without knowing the singer already.

I love Largo, tables right up close to the stage to see amazing artists. We had such great seats, and I was blown away by how much she could convey with so little effort, how she could BE up there and emanate what she meant without over-acting or over-singing. It was beautiful.

And on the way home to Carpinteria, I listened to the songs with new ears, and had a whole new inspiration. And I thought about writing differently. I wanted things to fit together so carefully and yet flow so well, wanted the words to make good shapes in my mouth, to like the way my mouth felt singing them.

I was listening to a few of her albums today and thinking, she is one of the best songwriters ever. As my husband puts it, she knows how to turn a phrase. Her melodies, her wit, and the craft of placing all the elements together so well are pretty much impeccable.

If you haven't listened, please do. If you don't like it at first, keep listening. She's one of the best ever.

Some of my favorite songs:
Save Me
That's Just What You Are
It's Not

Friday, February 19, 2010

For Otto and Luna

What is real?
Feeling popular? Thin? Getting big checks? Lots of people in a room who say your name at the door before they get their wrist stamped and their ID's out? Feeling successful? Trying so hard, trying so hard?
Or bees in the grass
Or my baby's hands while she is nursing, wrapping around themselves like a prayer, swaying around like a celebration, loving this pure food, just loving.
The shadows from the trees on the living room floor
Pictures of my son, my beloved gone one,
My broken heart,
My heart so full.
I feel like being quiet
And letting all these things be.
I feel like letting go of branding
and being interesting
and loud and passionate and funny.
I feel like going into the lacy dark hold of being one who brought life forward
And let life go;
I feel like giving up
And giving into this full hearted love
This simplest wish
to be a mama.
Let all songs sing from here.
Let them come when they come.
Let them wrap themselves around
Like the sweet pea vines I planted
And I'll hold out my arms for them
And watch them curl and grow
From this happier place.
To be a mom who holds things in her mind and heart
even when she can't get them to the page or the piano
I feel like not trying so hard
And being happy.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

My daughter Luna

I just realized, now that she is 12 weeks old, that I never posted a birth announcement on the blog!

So here it is: LUNA IS BORN!!! And healthy and doing so well. I'm sooooo happy. She was born on November 18th, 2009 and cried right away, given to my arms to hold and kiss and never give up.

It has been so healing to have her. She looks like her brother, Otto, and this makes me miss him so much and yet, it gives me a chance to love him some more, and talk to him when I talk to her. She's a happy baby, we spend most of our time together. I sing to her all the time, songs that go:

Luna, luna luna baloona, luna luna luna baboona, luna luna lovely luna Luna halleluna.

The melodies are great, and I think the lyrics are pretty cool too.

I've played piano for her and she kicks and smiles and cries. She's amazing.

I'll be learning how to arrange things so I can write music and take care of her, and I'm not worried about how it will work out, because my heart is so full. I'm used to years of waking up with anxiety, a little melancholy, and now I wake up to a laughing little one who I love so much. It's quite a change.

I thank her for changing my view of life, of the sun, the grass, the clouds. She gets very quiet and observant when we go outside, the built in appreciation of the sacred earth. I love her wonderment and passion over the simplest things in life: eating, and being together.

Much more about her soon.

Much love to you all!
Jessica and Ryan and Otto Luna and

Sunday, February 7, 2010

This Paper Boat

This Paper Boat
by Ted Kooser

Carefully placed upon the future,
it tips from the breeze and skims away,
frail thing of words, this valentine,
so far to sail. And if you find it
caught in the reeds, its message blurred,
the thought that you are holding it
a moment is enough for me.

This poem feels so much like life to easily blown into places we don't expect. Bringing us to people we didn't think we'd know, and love, and then at the end, let go. I don't know about you, but I often ask why I'm here. And why we love so much just to have to let everything we love go at the end? Somehow this poem uses just the right words for me to feel satisfied for a moment about being a paper boat on water, my message blurred, and held for a moment by someone I love.