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Jessica Eve Watkins

29th September, 2014


We are singing songs on the bed at the Hayfield Motel. It could be Virginia, or West Virginia – we’ve crisscrossed the borderlands all afternoon, on our way due south. It’s a luxury to have a mattress, a pillow, a wall keeping the world at bay. Just one night of privacy. This morning we said goodbye to New York State. The north kept us so long. The nights there have been filled with fire and music. Chanting witches, herb gatherers, sorcerers of the Catskill Mountains. So many shining, so much glowing. Lately I feel the delicious rise of Goddess energy imparted in myself. My eyes wake in the forest, and the first thing I know is a canopy of autumn. We speak about the positivity this change makes to our days – rising in nature, surrounded by bark and boulders and falling seasons. My heart sings out as we scale a path up the Buttermilk Falls, and meditate on its eroded rock face. I dip my fingers in American water and write lyrics in my mind.

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Last night, after dressing up pretty in a parking lot, we drive to Clove Valley Farm to visit our best beautiful friend Helsie. We arrived at that beginning breath of a party, with the energy fresh, and rising quickly. Three strangers frying calzones in a barn, handshakes, new faces to discover. Helsie receiving our gifts and hugging the life into us. I join a procession carrying candles to a meadow, stumbling moccasins over rough ground. Already gathered travellers and gardeners crowd the campfire, lean close to one another, voices darting louder. I feel Magical in the darkness, it’s so hard to make out faces, so liberating to be here. To be us – three songbirds leading a chorus of music, passing my guitar to the left and right as more and more talented musicians crawl out of the woodwork. We coax it out of one another. I feel so little stage fright these days.

I feel tougher and softer after my summer alone. Been letting myself go to darker, richer places in my dreams, been scaring myself, feeling lonely, and remembering it’s alright. We’ve been playing a lot too – swings and see-saws, songs, and jokes. Harper reminds me to revel in youth. Marianne Williamson reminds me to take pride in growing older. Life is beginning to leak clues at me, reveal a new layer of how I could be fulfilled, what I could be joyful doing. I notice myself holding my head up, proud of progress. It’s easy on low days to wonder obsessively if I’m wasting my time and money by being an artist. But when I’m truthful, I know I’m right where I need to be, and this life charges me up beyond anything else in my world.

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