And once again the end of the year comes sweeping into the room, ripping the calendar pages and leaving them to fall in a pile of memory onto the floor of my house and heart.
What a year it has been! Since last I typed, tardy blogger (or blogette…or maybe bloggem…in keeping with the current trend to be all genders to all people, which leaves me, ancient that I am, in confusion. I fear I have entered the universe of grammatical old farts), much has happened, most of it happy and fortunate, which is how I feel at this moment. As long as I don’t read the paper or listen to the news, life is great.
There has been happy travel, to such diverse places as my favorite city on the planet, London, where I sang happily and tore my meniscus and wound up hobbling up and down the stairs, stairs, stairs that make up that city…that country…and for the first time recognized I might NOT be immune to the injuries time insists on inflicting on those who survive their twenties…what????) But when you get a chance to stay in a manse in the Cotswolds, you must not complain!
…discovering the beauties of impossibly green Bainbridge Island off of Seattle, counting my blessings that I have inherited some of the most wonderful and INTERESTING relatives, including my cousins Bruce and Kathie…Bruce being he who was one of the most famous still photographers in the movie industry, with faces of folk such as Peter Sellars, Eddy Murphy, and the Beatles on his gallery wall…my father gave him his first camera…and his gorgeous wife Kathie who was the costumer on one my first TV shows…a STARSKY AND HUTCH long, long ago, and long, long before she met my cousin and became my cousin in law…
…and even more boggling French Polynesia where I celebrated 50 years of togetherness with my honey as we swam in the impossibly triple blue waters off of Bora Bora. 50 years??? How is that possible? And we still like each other. A miracle!
After many months of what I feared was permanent creative exile, there was the creation of a new concert concept …my LADY MAC BETH SINGS THE BLUES…contemporary songs for Shakespeare’s heroines…which debuted at our lovely Rubicon Theater. (I saw a t-shirt recently I HAD to acquire …the bust of Will with a caption under it saying “This shit writes itself”…hilarious!)
And my beloved pal Michele Brourman and I leapt into yet more animated features for Dream Works, entering the world of Curious George the good natured monkey. I do love writing for animation…it is akin to writing very short Broadway musicals while lounging in your pajamas.
Losses there were, as more and more there seem to be. I said to Michele I believe we are now leaving the garden of HELLOS and entering the tundra of GOODBYE.
The loss of both our two oldest dogs, Duffy
and our favorite cat Spatz.
That was a triple blow that bruised our hearts. We have four legged children rather than two. They are as dear to us as any human child can be.
BUT THEN, into our lives came Fred Astaire, highest leaper and silliest cat on the planet,
and the JUST rescued Jumping Jack Flash the mystery pup. He is so new he only has one name so far, and we are still not sure exactly who he is. But we will surely discover his secrets.
And THAT is the advantage of having four-legged children. They leave too soon, but there is always someone waiting in a cage somewhere wanting to be rescued.
I realize this is sounding more and more like a Christmas letter. Apt, I suppose, as we are approaching that day so very fast. I am typing this from the sky as I wing home from a quick but delicious trip to wintery, Christmas-twinkly New York City where I sang with brilliant John Bucchino at Birldand, saw beloved Eastern pals and a great new piece of theater…JAGGED LITTLE PILL…based on the music of Alanis Morisette. It was an excellent dive into the world of current teenage turmoil. Bless the brave and troubled hearts of all young people everywhere these strange days!
In the world of literature and art:
Book: EDUCATED…wow! What an amazing true story of survival and determination
Movie: THE RIDER…a gorgeous small film
Music: The Django Rhinehardt All Stars- if you want to feel REALLY happy and energized, these guys are the real deal!
And so as I wish you all a very happy end to 2019, and a grand entrance into 2020, I leave you with the lyric of my latest collaboration with my beloved pal Michele Brourman, our latest Christmas tune.
(AND I do believe I am going to have to record a Christmas CD this year. At least an EP! I am getting nagged!)
ALL ABOUT LOVE
They’re hauling out the reindeer in September
Hanging up those lights of reds and greens
But as the time draws near we should remember
What this special season really means
It’s not about the tinsel
It’s not about the trees
It’s not about the snow or smoke
That floats upon the breeze
For those of us who tan
And those of you (us) who freeze
It’s all about love
It’s not about the Matzoh
It’s not about the dreydel
It’s not about the plastic baby
In a cardboard cradle
For those who sip their kosher wine
Or eggnog from a ladle
It’s all about love
In these darkest days of winter
This dying of the year
Let’s put aside our fearful pride
And bring each other cheer
It’s more than just a Torah
A Koran or a Bible
Or atheism, God forbid,
That gets one sued for libel
Let’s walk the path of common ground
And cast away the tribal
Is all about love
It’s all about love
Jim King says
Love the lyric; mostly what it says. You could throw an old player a bone and include some chords with ’em. I’d love to include this with my (limited) holiday repetoire. BTW: I already do ‘The Rose’ and it always gets the response I want from the room. That lyric is both touching and timeless.
Jim in snow Wisconsin
Carl Sonder, M.D. says
I was thinking about you today for some mysterious reason and, therefore, I decided to reach out to say hello. I accompanied you on “Over The Rainbow” on Garrett Brown’s piano many years ago, was thrilled by your performance at Rainbow Grill in New York around that same time, and have now relocated to Arizona where “happy little bluebirds fly.” Congratulations on 50 years with George! I would love to hear from you if you remember me.
Daryl L Hayslett says
I first encountered your artistry in the mid eighties when I bought a “direct to disk” Sheffield LP of Growing Up In Hollywood Town (I was auditioning some new audio gear at the time, and when I heard your voice, I lost interest in the hardware and just entered your world (I hope that doesn’t sound like a violation)
Now I sit here listing to Midnight Matinee some 35 years later and I experience that same thrill and chill.
I hope you’ll understand when I say that you and Merle Haggard are my two favorite artists.
A channeler of the Divine with words in The Rose always leave me in awe. And woman…do you ever age?!? What is your secret. You are lovely and sovereign to the calling of your lifes purpose to the core!
Ingrid Hillhouse says
My name is Ingrid, and I was born in 1972. Why am I reaching out to you? Here are the dots: 1) we’re in time of great change 2) people are in need 3) what can I do 4) meditation 5) can we save our people without our government 6) “God is Watching Us” in my head 7) more meditation 8) Bette Midler 9) The Rose” 10) Amanda McBroom! And after I read the history of “The Rose” on this website, I was inspired to contact you and Bette Midler. “The Rose” was one of the first songs I learned to play on the piano, and when I was in middle school, I learned to play it on my flute. I played it at weddings for people, and it was my Grandpa‘s favorite song to request for me to play. My Grandpa is an angel in heaven, and I know he looks after me and guides me to this day. I live on the Big Island of Hawaii and our people are suffering due to our economy’s dependence on tourism. Can you help me help the people of this island? I am connected with several individuals and organizations working tirelessly to help as many people as possible by feeding children and donating computers and clothes and shoes for children in need, feeding families and kupuna in need, and sheltering the houseless. Please contact me if you are moved or inspired to know more about the needs here and how you can help. Malama pona Mahalo!