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On Christmas morning at mom’s house we all gathered around and video-chatted (“Skyped”) with my step brother Robert and his girlfriend. They recently moved to London for more school. It was really fun to see their faces and say “Merry Christmas”. Today I got a sweet card and letter from them in the mail.

Maybe it’s time for a European vacation. : ) They got me thinking about traveling and how fun it would be to visit them in London. If I won the lottery I would travel. Travel and play music and drink starbucks.

The Civil Wars shot this video in Paris. Watching it again got me curious about where exactly they were at. The description on youtube says they’re at “Le Pont des Arts, a pedestrian bridge on the river Seine in Paris, France”.

 

My research tells me (I just spent way too much time researching this bridge…) that “Le Pont des Arts” was built in 1803 as a toll bridge and was identically reconstructed around 1981. The current bridge, made of steel, is considered one of the most romantic spots in Paris.  Hundreds of different sized and shaped locks cling to it’s railings. Couples from all over the world have traveled there and attached padlocks, engraved souvenirs, before hurling the key into the river below.

I didn’t know the bridge Joy and JP stood on had such a story. Aren’t you glad you know now, too? ; )

I will stand on that bridge someday.

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First of all, today I love my job. My first group of elders with mixed abilities was a delight. One woman with significant dementia came into the group visibly depressed. She left the group smiling and talking about how much she enjoyed it and was glad that she came. It was one of those really smooth sessions with extremely high participation, tons of smiles and laughter, and great musical moments. I got to share my new Ukulele with this group for the first time and they seemed to really like it. We sang “You Are My Sunshine”, “In The Good Old Summertime”, and “What A Wonderful World” with it. My other clients today were one-to-ones. Staff kept poking their heads into the room of one client to watch as he made “thumbs-up” motions and sign language for “happy” while he yelled out enthusiastically.

A good day to be a music therapist.

In other news… I am still on a high from The Civil Wars concert last night. The first time I saw them was back in December at a really small, intimate venue called The Woods. It is an old, converted funeral home which was an appropriate atmosphere for this duo… haunting. Well, last night did not disappoint. The venue was a little bigger this time but still intimate and the sound was incredible. We sat 3 different places before deciding on the perfect row, 6 from the front on the left side. There is nothing like seeing these two live. The way their voices ring out when they pull back from the mics, the way Joy dances her entire body as an instrument, their chemistry and banter. I couldn’t stop smiling.

Joy and John Paul met at a serendipitous co-write, as they describe it, only about three years ago. Eventually one asked the other what they were doing for the rest of their life and The Civil Wars was born. As they say, Joy grew up singing in church and John Paul grew up singing in bars. They’re both happily married. To different people. Which makes their strong chemistry intriguing and, I think, allows them to be really honest and vulnerable in their songwriting in a way they maybe couldn’t if they were a couple. “Tell me it’s nothing/Try to convince me that I’m not drowning/I can’t help falling out of love with you”. Things you would never say out-loud.

The honesty of their lyrics about the dynamics of human relationships is what really drew me to The Civil Wars. There is something beautiful about the turmoil and “wars” that happen in love.

They aren’t all dark, though. One of my favorite moments of last night was when JP described “I’ve Got This Friend” as their “dance track” as he plucked his guitar and bounced to the beat of the intro. Joy about lost it.

Barton Hollow” was the best I’d heard or seen it. Joy stomped her black heels on the hard wood to the beat and let one of her high notes get kinda gritty as she belted it out. JP joked that they were going to continue playing that song over and over for the remainder of the set.

I could go on… I will just say that seeing them again was inspiring and I am thankful that there are great musicians becoming successful because of their authentic and beautiful artistry.

Makes me want to keep doing music (and I will).  : )

Among the many things going on in the exciting world of Julie, I am so. stoked. to go here and see them.

It looks like an incredible venue and I’ve been waiting a long time to see The Civil Wars in action.

Update to follow.

chirp

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