One of the biggest disappointments of late is realizing we won’t be moving out West, as was the goal set 12 years ago on our honeymoon. We’ve known (even if we’ve never said it out loud) for the last three years that it would not happen in 2012. If you ever visit our house, this goal will be obvious. Almost every room has a picture of mountains or alpine flowers or something painted by Georgia O’Keeffe or cowboys on the set of “Lonesome Dove.” We even have a sign that says “2012.”
We’ve suffered many financial setbacks, endured job loss, and now, we are slowly rebuilding. Things are getting better, but not good enough to walk away from a house underwater and scant savings. I want to live in the mountains, but not in a tent.
Let me make this clear. I will not let go of the goal. It will happen some day, some way. Right now my biggest goal is to find a happiness in each day right here in Detroit. Yes, Detroit.
Even before I found this site, I began playing a game with myself, one I invented during a particularly difficult time, when depression hovered like a dank mist around my shoulders. My challenge each day was to find one thing to appreciate, to make me smile and feel grateful. Whether it was the perfect cup of coffee, a clean apartment, an achingly blue sky, a new shoot on a bedraggled house plant, or a genuine smile from a stranger.
The game continues with today’s offering:
What makes me happy is listening to “Love Interruption” by Jack White, and anticipating the April 24 release of his first solo album.
I’ve followed this guy’s career for 12 years. Even when critics called him a passing fancy, a novelty act, I just knew he’d become a major player in the music industry. I have a little shelf in my office of White Stripes unauthorized band bios, Rolling Stone issues, concert ticket stubs, and one of their original band buttons I scored at a resale shop. You know, basic rabid fan stuff.
Although Jack lives in Nashville, his roots are here in Detroit. He is who he is today (I believe) because he was born of the Detroit ethos. The day I discovered The White Stripes was the day I rekindled my love for Detroit. I couldn’t get enough of their music, of the scene around town. I tried, somewhat successfully, to get to every live show. There was a time when I could go to see a local act at a dive bar and turn around to see Jack towering above the crowd, sucking on a cigarette, a beer in hand, intently focused on the stage, appearing oblivious to anything else. Just another guy in the audience. It felt like a special time. It feels gone now. But the music goes on.
So does Detroit, in his absence, as the scene changes, the focus redirects. And so do I. There is much to dislike here in Detroit, but I credit White, among others, for opening my eyes to what is here: the creative energy, the poetry amid ruin, the idea that here lies the raw material to shape into anything the artist can envision.
The White Stripes disbanded last year as anticlimatically as my husband and I realized that we wouldn’t be house hunting in Boulder this summer. The signs had been there all along.
Did you watch Jack’s performance on Saturday Night Live last weekend? I was blown away by the duet with Ruby Amanfu. Maybe you like his music; maybe you don’t.
Sometimes all it takes is the right chord, pitch, and lyrics to turn a dark day around.
Today, I am grateful for good music in all its forms and the power it holds.