A Band, A Man, and His Words

Tonight, I saw one of my greatest inspirations!

Tonight, I rushed from my sixth week of Japanese class, in the rain, to Brooklyn hoping and praying that I didn’t miss too much of the show.

Tonight, I swayed, stomped, covered my heart and hit my thumb against my collar bones in a hypnotic rhythm.

Tonight, I heard some of my favorite words.

Tonight, I sang along at louder than normal pitches to some of my favorite words.

Tonight, I was reminded of the beauty of art.

Tonight, I was reminded of what I love about my friends and world.

Tonight, drenched in sweat, I returned to Sara.

Quite dramatic, eh? But, well, what can you expect? I am dramatic at times.

I have so many things to write about and yet, I want to write about TONIGHT! I want you, readers, to feel the surge of energy that coursed through me a bit earlier tonight. I also want you to go back in time with me, to remember a woman, still walking around like a girl, so full of everything and not the slightest bit sure of what was going to happen to her in the future.

If you opened the book right now, we’d be half way through chapter 30, so let’s go back oh, maybe 225 pages, to chapter 25 and 26. Your heroine was still stomping around Washington, DC. She was loving everything, including her one really good friend we’ll call, K. K around this time started seeing this much younger guy, who it turns out was a budding musician. We teased her about this because she was significantly older (oh, how things happen!) and he a wee lass (younger than me at the time!), but very nice. Needless to say a relationship started between them and well, a relationship of art transpired between us friends.

We’ll skip a few pages about your heroine’s move to NY, but we’ll only skip to chapter 28. Chapter 28 brings us to the heroine’s decision to get back into marathon running…this time the Rome Marathon. This time, the relationship based on art, included many, many shows danced at and listened to in small and large clubs around Manhattan and Brooklyn, a bunch of email correspondence, and in what is still considered one of the most defining moments in the heroine’s stationery career, the approval of the musician to let the stationer use his words on her thank you notes.

As the cards went out with the simple words, “If the thing that drives you onward is your heart, you must let that engine die,” friends and family of the heroine asked if she had made the cards and one even went so far as to say, “you really should start selling your cards.”

It would take the heroine, until middle of chapter 29 to realize that maybe these friends were right. It also corresponded with a dream in her favorite country, a pair of tights, a French quote, and the death of her father.

Mid-chapter 30, where we are right now, we find the heroine carrying bags of paper everywhere. We also find her dealing with high ups and low downs, but never losing sight of her dreams and goals.  This is where the heroine can switch from the third to the first person, because from this point, including tonight, the chapter is very much in the present as history is writing itself as the heroine types…

Hi readers! I know. So much melodrama above, but really, I’m digging this tone that I have going! However, I can’t write the present in a third person tense. I must keep it real to my voice and so here goes.

Tonight, I saw one of my favorite bands. I saw one of my favorite male vocalists. I saw passion in the sweaty, raw songs of These United States.

I know I have talked about this band before on this blog. At least I hope I have. If I haven’t, well then, here we go. If I have, well then here we go again.

I arrived at Brooklyn Bowl with fingers crossed that I did not miss the band. As I showed the guy my id, I realized that I had missed maybe a few minutes and so I walked in to hear one of my not so favorite songs by them. As they sang into another song, I moved closer to the stage with my very heavy bags on my side and got ready for what was a great night. Jesse (Jesse Elliott) was just Jesse, like always. His tone and voice were as they should be.  It’s something to watch an artist in his element, to sing the songs he/she knows and loves, but more than that, to be happy and full of passion. The entire band is full of this, but Jesse, more so. When he sings, you know he means every word with all his heart.

There is something bigger than life when you watch a band perform. Watching them put so much into themselves and knowing that they’ve been on the road for days, hours, months, traveling sometimes from one show to another makes it all even more worth while. Tonight, was exactly like this for me. I know that these guys are tired, but I know that they love making music and performing for their established fans and their new fans.

When I walked into the bar tonight, part of me was full of exhaustion. As an artist, I’m exhausted! However, I also knew with every fiber of my being that I needed the energy of These United States tonight. More than ever, I needed the connection of the live show. I needed to hear the words, I’ve repeated often, not just to myself, but on my stationery, to friends, and to anyone who will listen.

I will never tire of watching These United States perform. They will never cease to be a muse of mine. When Jesse sang “First Sight,” I thought of my friend K, whom I will eternally be grateful for sharing this big piece of her world with mine. When they sang, “Honor Amongst Thieves,” I danced around smiling. When they sang, “What Lasts,” I swayed slowly almost in tears. When they sang, “I Want You To Keep Everything,” I danced around, while singing word for word loudly, smiling and remembering every card that the song has inspired. When they sang and ended with, “When You’re Traveling at the Speed of Light,” I danced, raised my arms, clapped, and finally covered my heart with both hands and let the words that have always been my favorite, sink deep, deep in my soul – “If the thing that drives you onward is your heart, you must not let that engine die.”

Covered in sweat and full of contentment, I said high to Jesse and gave him a hug after the show and then walked to the L train to head home and write this blog. S2 Stationery and Design is very much a result of my imagination and creativity, but it is also very much a result and part of the many people, places, and experiences in my life. These United States, Jesse Elliott and his words have been sewn into my thin wings and I love the view from above.

Three cheers for an amazing night of music, passion, and inspiration!


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s2 stationery & designs

A rule-breaking designer, artist & entrepreneur who's passionate about paper and handcrafting stationery. I also write, travel, and focus on eco + social good.

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