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But it does continue to revolve at its own pace, doesn’t it?  I’ve missed you. I hope I’m back now.

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Denver, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun. ” —  Jon Krakauer

Daily gratitudes:
MKL, always
Motion
Rainstorms
Mr. Man
A call from Kelsea

 

I don’t have one of my own photos for this post tonight, because for once, unbelievably, I did not take a camera to a special place. The special place was Peter Gabriel and Sting’s Rock Paper Scissors Tour in Denver last night.

I will insert a gratuitous picture of Sting here:

sting
(Image credit: www.blissfullydomestic.com)

Because I like the way he looks. He reminds me of MKL, if MKL became slightly gaunt, fluffed his hair, and squinted. (I love the way MKL looks.)

I’ve never been much of a concertgoer, even though I like music. The crowds, the expense..it just hasn’t happened. I took Kelsea to her first two concerts until I was comfortable with her going with just her friends, and I have to say that the Foo Fighters put on an amazing show. I’m also glad I no longer accompany her to concerts because I’d probably have a heart attack from her crowdsufing at Riotfest.

Enter Stepson D, who for the past two years, has treated MKL and me to concerts in Denver by musicians who his Dad listened to a lot while he was growing up. Last year, it as Boston and the Doobie Brothers. This year, Peter Gabriel and Sting. D says this is a tradition we can probably keep up for some years to come. Now, I’m not much of a Peter Gabriel fan, but MKL is. His music has gotten my husband through some rough times in his life. He’s not much of a Sting fan, but I am. His music has shaped some wonderful memories for me.

Last night’s show was in the Pepsi Center, a venue used for basketball, hockey, and (in my experience) job fairs and concerts. It was a full house, and the artists set the stage immediately by saying, “We’re going to have fun.” And fun we all had. At 66 and 60 respectively, Peter Gabriel and Sting both have the voices that I remember from 30 years ago, still rich, expressive, melodic, and untouched by technological enhancements. Sting’s guitar was battered and well-loved; if one of the ten wealthiest musicians in Britain is playing something that looks like it came from a pawn shop in Aurora, you know it must be special and dear to his heart. He played “An Englishman in New York”, which is one of my favorites, and quite a few numbers from his days with The Police. The only thing missing for me was “When We Dance”, but I may be in the minority on that one, and I get that. Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes” brought me to tear.

Even though Peter Gabriel without hair constantly reminded me of Dr. Evil from the Austin Powers movies, and their lovely blonde back-up singer looked remarkably like Claire Underwood from Netflix’s House of Cards, which confused me at each first glance on the big screen, these two artists have assembled an amazing set of musicians to join them on their journey.

All the way through the closing encore “Sledgehammer”, they shared their music, each chiming in with vocals, instrumentals, or dance steps to the others’ songs. Brothers from other mothers. They touched on recent American tragedies and British political madness, all the while emphasizing, through the songs they selected, that we are a powerful people and love en masse is a powerful instrument of change and peace in the world.

As an empath in large crowds, I get A LOT of feels. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons I tend to avoid concerts, fairs, and other events where a crush of humanity will be present. But last night, all I picked up was gorgeous positivity. It felt like we were in a giant living room, all 18,000 of us, just hanging out listening to our friends play music, and chiming in when we could. There was singing. There was dancing. We were a crowd of a certain age, mostly, with women in flowy outfits and gentleman in standard classy aloha shirt attire. The lighting artists – for they truly were artists – made it feel at times as if the late afternoon sun was streaming in, warm beams flooding the crowd from unseen windows. One of the last songs made me feel as if I was sitting in the center of a rainbow, that magical spot always sought but never attained.

I loved watching MKL, as he watched with genuine joy in his eyes. He is the most genuine man I have ever known, and I need that in my life – such a stark contrast to my past partners. His joy enhanced mine expontentially.

So thank you Stepson D, for this wonderful experience. Thank you, Peter Gabriel and Sting, for giving us a night to remember. A special thank you to Sting, for continuing to look as amazing as you did 20 years ago. Thank you to my fellow concertgoers for your delight, enthusiasm, and camaraderie. Thank you to the spirits, non-corporeal ticketholders that I could feel up the high seats. And thank you to the universe for channeling magic in the form of music through very special people.

Quote of the Day: “If I ever lose my faith in you, there’ll be nothing left for me to do.” — Sting

Daily gratitudes:
MKL
A surprise Kelsea tonight
Belated and beautiful birthday presents
The man talking to his dog as they walked down Public Road
Cheese Danish from the coffee shop at the Littleton Downtown RTD station

(I’m trying to somehow spread the word on my blog, so I’m hastagging things. Bear with me. I have no real idea what I’m doing.)

#rockpaperscissorstour  #petergabriel #sting

 

 

Union Station, always a place of comfort and refuge for me. And for fellow travellers for 135 years.

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Denver, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “They should tell you when you’re born: have a suitcase heart, be ready to travel.” — Gabrielle Zevin

Daily gratitudes:
Breezes
Snuggles from Mr. Man
Nests
Passing on legacies
That Kelsea turns out my light when she comes home after I fall asleep

Save

Because it’s always important to know where your yaks are.

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Denver, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “The creatures that inhabit this earth–be they human beings or animals–are here to contribute, each in its own particular way, to the beauty and prosperity of the world.” — Dalai Lama XIV

Daily gratitudes:
Shipping finished work
MKL
Near beer
A soft gray day

The too-strong smell of Jean Nate in the elevator, taking me back to my teenage years…the sister of a teacher killed at Sandy Point speaking outside Union Station at a rally for Moms Against Guns….a red peony with no scent….a walk down 16th Street….lunch at Little India….tears sparked by the song “Leaving of Liverpool”…. leftover exhaustion from previous days….the first day that feels like summer.

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Denver, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “There are no random acts…We are all connected…You can no more separate one life from another than you can separate a breeze from the wind…” — Mitch Albom

Daily gratitudes:
Air conditioning when it’s needed
Hugs and kisses
That Kelsea comes home in less than two weeks
That my garden seems to be taking
That the woman loudly discussing her parenting philosophies a phone call  on the early bus got off shortly after I boarded

 

As we shift from beaches to barnyards, I’ll be sharing some images from the 110th National Western Stock Show in Denver. MKL was a wonderful substitute for Kelsea who, as I’m sure I’ve said about twenty times, missed the Stock Show for the first time in 19 years. She was six weeks old at the time of her first visit. MKL and I went twice this year, which was YAY for me, since I could go every day. It has always been a dream of mine to work for the NWSS. There’s some farm girl deep inside of me that just feels so at home among the livestock. I’ve always felt this way, but have never acted on it. At this stage of our life together, I don’t think it’s a good fit either. But I have the Stock Show every year, and the only thing MKL wouldn’t (most wisely) do, which Kelsea and I would have done is put a bid in on a cow in the Beef Palace. Just a small $100 bid, one on which we would have been immediately outbid. Or else we’d have a cow in the front yard now. Anyway, as I say, MKL is wise. Though he did look the part of a wealthy rancher on both visits.

We saw two rodeos one of which included mutton bustin’ and some really rank bulls, had a meet-and-greet with llamas and alpacas, saw Highland cattle, angus bulls, sheep, pigs, goats, chickens, geese, ducks, peacocks, buffalo, and Longhorns. I petted a yak. We had a beer at the Yard Bar. I got manure on my boots. We ate corn dogs and MKL had a deep-fried Twinkie. And I was as happy as …. well, as happy as could be.

Do you remember fairy tales of the poor farm girl swept up in some whirlwind romance and whisked off to the city to lead a life of luxury? Why does no one ever sweep the busy city girl of to a farm?

A Sheepish SmileDenver, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “Love grows wherever you plant it, so I try to farm it wherever I go.” — Jarod Kintz

Daily gratitudes:
Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos
Lap cats
Artichokes
Love
My girls

 

We’ll leave the beach for a day, and you can see what I see every day — Union Station in Denver. It’s a beautiful building, and often in the morning, people are lined up waiting for the California Zephyr to take them on to parts west. While in the past two years, it has been transformed from what was for me, a sanctuary of stillness and spirit, to a hub for people to sit, work, chat, eat, drink, and generally be social, it still retains a touch of its old self, especially on the outside. And I can still feel the ghosts, way up in the arches of the ceiling.

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Denver, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “These times are too progressive. Everything has changed too fast. Railroads and telegraphs and kerosene and coal stoves — they’re good to have but the trouble is, folks get to depend on ’em.” — Laura Ingalls Wilder

Daily gratitudes:
That the blues have lightened a bit
The magnificent view of the Front Range
How the stars seemed to have shifted tonight
MKL
Mr. Man all snuggled up by my side

I had the pleasure of watching the California Zephyr pull into Union Station on my way into work the other morning. It’s been a long time since I’ve taken a train trip of any length, and it’s on our to-do list. When I was 14, my parents took E-Bro and me on a train trip up from Durham to DC to Montreal, across Canada to Vancouver, and then down to Seattle and San Francisco. (My father woke me up at 3:00 a.m. so we could get off the train and say we’d been to Moose Jaw.) It was wonderful and I’d love to do a trip like that with MKL. For now, I’ll have to be satisfied with watching the Zephyr come and go.

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Denver, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “She had more curves than a scenic railway.” —  P.G. Wodehouse (one of my favorite authors)

Daily gratitudes:
Migraine medicine
That the lady at the DMV gave me three tries to get a good driver’s license photo (maybe)
Blue skies
How nice everyone at Western Washington University has been to deal with
Having my blog shared by my Southern Soul Sister at So Does That Mean I’m Southern

I have been making a point of – literally – stopping to smell the flowers lately. Coming home from Job #3 on Saturday, I stopped by the creek and listened to the water and the birds, and watched the sunset. I’ll share pictures. Yesterday, MKL and I went to the car show (he’s a total car guy) and I’ll share pictures from there. And today, getting off the shuttle, I stopped to smell the peonies on the corner of 16th and Wynkoop, and caught this picture. And wanted to share it with you.

I suffered a loss today, a professional loss, and I was interested to see how hard I took it. As I told MKL over lunch, I found myself in my head doing exactly what I did at other significant losses – the deaths of my parents, my best friend, my dogs – in which I kept thinking, “Maybe if I do this, I can fix it.” Of course, that’s not possible. It’s magical thinking (and not in the good way), which I know I’m prone to. But it was a small piece of enlightenment about myself, and a realization of what a deep personal, emotional, investment I have in the projects I work on for my company. It’s something to think about.

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Denver, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “The little boy nodded at the peony and the peony seemed to nod back. The little boy was neat, clean and pretty. The peony was unchaste, dishevelled as peonies must be, and at the height of its beauty.” — Robertson Davies

Daily gratitudes:
The scents of summer
Infinitely changing skies
Old couples holding hands
That Anastasia Fawni got second place in her very first ever drag competition
That peonies bloom amongst the bricks and mortar of the city

It was a beautiful morning today. The rainy weather provided as Kelsea’s graduation present is taking a little break. The Triangle Building is going up next door to the building in which I write for a living, and it’s really cool. My co-worker Christine and I have supervised every scoop of earth, cable laid, beam positioned, and glass panel installed from our upstairs window. We think we did a splendid job, don’t you?

Beautiful Day
Denver, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “The three facets of the great writer — magic, story, lesson — are prone to blend in one impression of unified and unique radiance, since the magic of art may be present in the very bones of the story, in the very marrow of thought…Then with a pleasure which is both sensual and intellectual we shall watch the artist build his castle of cards and watch the castle of cards become a castle of beautiful steel and glass.” — Vladimir Nabokov

Daily gratitudes:
A goose resting comfortably on the roof of an SUV
Red-winged blackbirds
The elderly waiter at the Broker
Reservations for Cottonwood Hot Springs
My friend Pam’s wonderful new job for which she is perfect!

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