1. August Greetings from Mississippi
2. News: Denmark, Ireland coming up fast
3. Food for Thought: Margaret Meade on “home”
4. Story of the Month: Summer and the Theory of Overreactions
5. Recommended: A sweet, soul-stirring documentary
Greetings from Tupelo, Mississippi, which I’ve begun to think of as my personal retreat center—and the time I’m spending here as a sabbatical. It’s a big adjustment, but I’m settling in.
A few things I’ve noticed…
-Southern hospitality down here is alive and well.
-I love the names of the nearby towns: Pontotoc, Tishomingo, Verona, Iuka, Okolona, Saltillo…
-It’s good to be close to kin. Mama and I share cooking. (Hers is better than mine!) My sisters, brother and nephews are nearby and drop in often. Mama’s old dog Layla needs lots of walking, and I need to walk, so that’s working out fine—and I’m discovering that my studio somehow fits perfectly in my mother’s guest room.
Hope you are all finding some sweetness in the long hot summer. And now, a brief bit of August news…
a) Denmark next week
I’m off to Copenhagen and Odense next week to perform and teach at the Copenhagen Songwriters Festival (thanks to Brett Perkins) and at the Spoken Word Festival in Odense (thanks to Betina Folleslev). I’m so looking forward to seeing old friends in the Land of the Danes, which has a special place in my heart.
b) Ireland, the week after
I’m very excited to be hosting my 3rd music-art-history-natural wonders tour of Ireland (Counties Cork, Kerry & Clare) for fans-friends-and-family. Thanks to Johnsmith for the opportunity. What a gift!
FYI next summer I’ll be hosting not one, but two Ireland tours. The first will run July 27-Aug 4, and for the first time I’ll be exploring Counties Mayo, Galway & Clare. The second tour and the second Aug 17-26. I’ll be co-hosting the 2nd tour with yogi-poet-musician-magician Kenneth Robinson, and we’ll be back down in Cork, Kerry & Clare.
Info on next year’s tours will be up at my website soon. In the meantime, if you’re interested you are welcome to let tour coordinator Vicki Belinoski know you’d like to be in the loop by emailing her HERE.
It’s been a slow summer for the trios, but things pick up in the fall, and I’ll include news next time around.
3. August Food for Thought: Home
“One of the oldest human needs is having someone wonder where you are when you don’t come home at night.”
4. TK Story of the Month: “Summer and the Theory of Overreactions”
I’ve long held to the theory that life is essentially a series of overreactions, and it’s holding up pretty well this summer in Mississippi.
When I took my nephew to see The Wolverine the other day I was damned glad I remembered to take a jacket. It may have been a hundred degrees outside, but the theater was meat locker cold.
When I was a boy living with Bubba in Monroeville, Alabama, we had no air conditioning, and it simply got hot in the summertime. We accepted it, but then we didn’t know much better. The pine sap bubbled up out of Bubba’s back steps like hot jelly, and the big window fan in the dining room ran on high full time. You drank iced tea, moved slowly, slept on top of the sheets. Maybe that’s why I don’t mind the heat. It feels like home. Just don’t leave chocolate in the car!
To read the entire story, click HERE.
(For more TK poems or to purchase his book, The Sweetest and the Meanest, click HERE. You can also buy The Sweetest and the Meanest at your local bookstore.)
5. Recommended for August: A very special documentary film, 20 Feet from Stardom
Saw this film a couple of weeks ago, and I’m still feeling it. I sang along silently to myself, I grooved in my seat, I cried. It’s been awhile since I’ve been so moved.
If it’s not showing locally, make a note to rent or stream it. It’s not to be missed.
For a little more info, click HERE.