Sunday, September 19, 2010

No One On The Other End Of The Line

I'm on tour this week. A little two week tour that adds up to a big deal for me. This being my first time back on the road, playing music shows, since 1998. And I had to write something tonight. It's been a lovely time being back on the east coast playing music, but something struck me tonight and I need to talk it through.

I'm sad. Amidst all the shared laughs with friends, and hearing Stan Ridgway's hilarious running commentaries (we played three shows with him), feeling appreciated for my music making, and sharing stories with my traveling cohorts, (Renata Bratt who is playing cello and Paula Luber who is playing glockenspiel)....I feel torn.

Tonight I played a show at a lovely old friend, the Tin Angel, a room in the historic district of Philadelphia. When I walked in I remembered the last time I'd been here. Must have been 1996. I did a show with Ben Vaughn and I remember talking to him in the back room. My husband Paul, who was merely a boyfriend then, was with me. Ben was so happy to meet Paul. It could have been, possibly 1996.

During the show tonight the memory came flooding back. Paul went out on the road with me here in the states twice. He was not always easy to travel with, as several friends will attest to, but we could have some fun times. Some of those nice times have occurred to me several times on this trip. I'm retracing old steps.

These places I'm visiting now were places I ventured to with Paul beside me or at least a phone call away. It's tough going back to those places and not checking back in with that loved one about how it's changed or how it looks now. There's no one on the other end of the line.

At the Tin Angel tonight I played several songs from the Garage Orchestra album, the album I was promoting in the mid nineties with Paul by my side. I suppose the more I do this sort of thing, get out and play these old familiar rooms and discover newer ones, the sooner I will discover my new feelings for this new life.

It's all very topsy turvy at the moment. This is my way of crying...... I feel much better now.

It's like I'm sloughing off the old me and it's still a tender place, still painful at times. But there's no turning back. Time marches on.
(photo courtesy of Ed McKeon)


  1. Hi Cindy,
    Thanks for your recent post. Your 'different situation' must be hard to adjust to - especially with the recent reminders of 'togetherness'.
    I wept for ages when I first found out about Paul's situation, and we only met once - although we did correspond for a while. I cannot imagine what all this has been like for you. In many ways you have had to concern yourself in practical matters before emotional ones...and maybe now the feelings want to be heard too?
    Always remember that what you shared with Paul is itself eternal and unchanging - Love, Truth, Beauty. The chapter with Paul is still written in your life and you can cherish that. I appreciate that the adjustment is painful and in trying to be helpful I am aware that my words may even sound glib or irrellevant. However...
    My intent is to offer you (and Paul) a hug and to wish you all the good things that life can bring.
    - Nick x

  2. Dear Cindy,
    Change can be so tough, but we never get more than we can handle, even though it may seem that way at the time. I have to remind myself to enjoy and appreciate all the seasons of my life, even the sad or bitter sweet ones. Life is good, and I thank YOU for the joy your music brings me.
    Johnny Young

  3. They say that a problem shared is a problem halved. Reading your blog, I'm wondering if the same is true for heartaches. I feel better when I share my grief, and somehow reading about yours makes me feel better, too. We're all in this thing together, I guess.
    Thanks as always, Cindy, for your honesty.