A few Days in Duluth: Murder Ballads and Valentine’s Day

So tired.

I started this week in St. Cloud, giving a workshop on grant writing to help a friend plan a conference on the intersection between medicine and art, called “Survive and Thrive.” I hope you’ll consider attending in 2015, if art, music, theater, and the survival of medical trauma are as powerful a combination for you as they have been for me.

Wednesday, drinks listening to Darin Bergsven, this week with Elias Mokole as one of the listeners, too. If you are unfamiliar with Elias’s work, well, so was I — and now that I know it, I think of him as one of the hidden Duluth treasures. Like Graffiti Graveyard, but Opera-style.

And more:can be found here.
I can’t believe this is the same voice I drink with, to be honest.

Thursday, I spent all day at the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council. Maria Isley from the Minnesota Council of Non-Profits was there, too, kindly, to work with us on some issues. It’s so awesome to work with committed artists and arts leaders, like Kate Fitzgerald (interviewed here) and John Gregor, with whom I had breakfast at Amazing Grace before the meeting started.

That evening, Michelle Ronning and I grabbed some food at Zeitgeist afterwards. We spent a lot of time with one of the owners of the Jefferson Peoples House. So much passion. We stuck around long enough to see Murder Ballad. There was a production with so much energy. I was surprised that it was more like an opera than a musical. The performers belted out powerful tunes for nearly an hour before intermission; I have no idea how they do it, three nights in a row.

Friday, after work (I sometimes forget to mention that I have a job, you know), Zeitgeist with Angie Arden and Stephanie Johnson, a poet and a painter committed to art and to the preservation of the wolf. Check their work out, if you can. Then, I picked up some friends and drove to Cloquet. We might have swung by the casino for free pop before the real reason — a late night drive to the Frank Lloyd Wright treasure of the Northland.

I like showing people our surprise jewel.

Saturday, I was tired. It was Valentine’s Day, and I had a friend or two with no Valentine’s plans whom I knew I could pull together into group awesome, starting with dinner at the Green Mill. (I loved the Green Mill in the Cities, so I am both nostalgic when I come here as well as pleased by the appetizer specials.) We talked about the answer to the question of life, the universe and everything (42). And we scrambled to see the Harbor City Roller Dames. We caught the second bout, in which we handily defeated the opposition. But we seemed to have a bench twice as deep. So I need help interpreting how to feel about this victory. The halftime band was kind of loud for me.

I spent some time at a PAVSA fundraiser at the Flame, afterwards. It was a hip night — I ran into musician Emily Jayne and Minerva scribe AFBat. It was fun to see so many people supporting a good cause.

Afterwards, I went on a drive with a friend — first to Brighton Beach, then to Skyline Drive. While on that drive, my friend pushed me on my human relationships — the ones that sustain me, the ones that drain me, the ones in between, the vast and sheer quantity of them. She pushed me on the mountain of things I do, the organizations I support, the events I attend, the work I engage. She wanted to know what I was hiding from. I’m still thinking about that. The best friends are willing to push you into places uncomfortable to be.

1 Comment


about 9 years ago

Ah, to be childless again. I can barely remember...

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