16 October, 2008


yesterday was my birthday. my 31st... i have been saying onstage for some time now that i hope it means the end of my saturn returns. it's a story meant to set-up a new song of mine called "28" which describes how i was feeling exactly 3 years ago when i first noticed my life heaving. heaving... yes, rising up into big hills of drama then cracking and splitting and falling into deep wallows of inner life. if i were a waveform, my amplitude would have increased, and my frequency. it all just got busier.

i'm a big one for dates, so a birthday is an important holiday. my re-start every year. i like new years eve for the same reasons. any holiday has a calendar attached to it, a yearly cycle that overlaps with other yearly cycles, so in my mind we're living concurrent lives always. in our emotional life, our family life, our creative life we are constantly marking anniversaries and moving forward. this year, i wanted to mark my birthday in a deeper way so i decided to fast. today is day 4.

my fast is really a cleanse: you make a mixture of water, lemonade, maple syrup and cayenne pepper and that's all you drink. you can have a cup of tea at night, and in the morning you do a saltwater flush. i wont describe it further, but use your imagination and know that the saltwater flush sucks. i havent felt hungry or down or tired too much, but every hour is different. that's one of the things i like best about fasting. take away the ritual of food in your life, and you have a lot more time on your hands. take away the sensation of being truly satiated- of being "full"- and you really start to be aware of your body in a new way.

i try to stay home alot when i am fasting, it helps conserve energy and it's good to be near a bathroom. but last night, my friend jose ayerve invited me to come play a song or two at an obama rally in easthampton. i hardly get to see jose, and i miss him. he's fucking brilliant. check out this song we made together just this spring. its about 3 way relationships or the redsox bullpen. you decide.

so i hadn't ever been to a political event quite like the one i went to last night. it was much more than party trays of food and socializing. there was the expected table to buy obama pins and stickers and lawn signs and tshirts, but there were also tables where you could write postcards to undecided voters, laptops where you could sign and send online petitions, and a station where you recorded a youtube message about why you were voting for obama.

jose and i did our video together, and i held a sign that said "mc cain: more of the same". in truth obama isnt nearly lefty enough for me, and i get a bit queasy when he rattles on about "getting" osama bin laden. but i think he probably has to do all that to get elected. i basically trust him. i watch him speak- thoughtful, eloquent, intelligent, subtle- and i think, "i can relate to him and i would be proud to be represented by him". what a strange feeling! to feel some positive connection to the leader of your country. i have NO IDEA what that feels like. as my friend phillip price of the winterpills said last night, "i think it feels pretty good." he was wearing a button that said "moonwalkers for obama".

the room was full of people ready for action. the postcard table was busy with people writing actual letters to undecided new hampshire voters. western NH is just a few miles from here, and the easthampton democrats were organizing groups to go there and canvas for obama. other groups were getting people to go to ohio, pennsylvania and other battlegrounds. the point was that even though western mass is super democrat and lefty lefty, there was plenty of work to do.

i felt incredibly inspired being there. and humbled by the energy of the people working to put this rally and countless others across the country together. what an operation! it reminds me first of all, how giant this country is and what kind of effort it takes to corral a simple majority and get going in the same direction. if we had more than 2 parties, i think it would actually be less of a feat. but to get americans to fall one way or another, when we are so diverse, seems to me a mammoth proposition. and yet it's happening. the effort is extraordinary to me, but then you think of the prize. a truly new direction for our country. a new face for the world. a spring in our metaphorical step. the presidency. wow.


  1. happy birthday, erin.

    and yeah, i get that feeling of surprise all the time when i think that i would actually like obama as the leader of the country, and not merely tolerate or out and out loathe as i do currently.

    it's a sudden feeling of things looking up, and it's strange.

  2. You bet, and well said, Erin! My wife and I moved from San Diego (where we caught you last year at Acoustic Music SD) to Philly and we're working on the campaign and we're psyched! Thanks for sharing this; Glad you're feeling it too! (P.S. You used to babysit for my nephews and nieces, the John kids, and we were mutually blown away that we both were fans!)

  3. As politicians go, Obama is pretty darn good... About as genuine as I've seen. Here's hoping.
    Bummer about the Sox. Oh well, you can't be the best all the time.
    Still reeling from your show in Boulder with SK6rs... All my life I lived in Keene, NH and had seen your name and the Sixers' names all the time but never had a chance to catch a show. Now I spend 2 years in CO and I see you folks play and I AM KICKING MYSELF for not making a stronger effort. Well, I'm building my collection.
    Oh, and be careful with the fasting!
    Keep up the great work, Erin!!!!

  4. Hi Erin, Happy Birthday!
    I just started reading your blog but have been listening you your music for years, just wanted to say hello and say I feel the same way about Obama. xoxo, Linda

  5. very excited about the new blog, erin. thanks for constantly travelling to us in your words. be encouraged, if you are seeking listeners.

    i live in south bend, indiana, what has been a very red state; and there are many rumblings about awakening this sleeping giant. and by that i mean exactly awakening the especially "industrialized" northern portion of the state; and the black(and rather blue)and immigrant populations that reside there. i live in a very mixed neighborhood that is suddenly and vibrantly alive; and everyone is involved. there are demands for the vote while in the grocery line, and guys asking to rake your lawn, and asking if you're voting.

    on 9/11/2001, i was standing in the middle of a housing project in newark, and the residents didn't even watch the smoke rising from manhatten. i have a sense those residents, however, are watching this election, and i find that to be very very moving.

  6. Happy 31,

    Yeah, there is something about time moving on....though i think at times my Saturn return keeps doing just that, returning and returning over and over again, low bass and high squeaky frequency. But maybe I just haven't gotten my shit together, and if I did, I would forget where it is that I put it...Another response for another day :) Hope the cleanse is well, cleansing.


  7. This is a wonderful song with Jose that you posted. Your voice sounds crisp.

    I am personally partial to the 3 way relationship interpretation ^_^.

    Thank you for sharing it and happy couple of weeks into 31.

  8. Yay! We have the same birthday. And we're both from Virginia. :)

  9. hey thanks everybody for sharing your activism stories... i wonder how everyone is feeling now that obama is making some good and some bad decisions???