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Monday, January 28, 2019

"Here's to Life" as sung by Erin Carere

"Here's to Life" as sung by Erin in her office

I read a great essay about fame, poetry, age, mortality and my favorite poets Yeats and Walcott, by Gabrielle Bellot, a LitHub writer....

And I keep thinking about my own life, and dreams, and failures, mostly.... and every day it's like another episode of "Erin dreams, Erin surrenders, she mostly fails and sometimes soars."

And then I thought of an emotional, slightly incorrect, and totally improvised video I made for a friend and thought, what the hell. Share your life. What have you but yourself to give?

And here we go. Here's to life.

I love you.


Saturday, January 12, 2019

Listen to your body

There have been so many times I didn't listen to my body
a dread in my heart,
A deep desire not to go somewhere,
a worry about the car on the highway that made no sense

And always those feelings were proven true; awful, awe-ful.

I have many stories of when I didn't listen and it went badly.

I have two clear stories of when I did listen and it saved me.

Today was one of those stories, small though it may seem.

I awoke early enough for my workout, early enough to fit in a phone call, a dog walk and a brekkie before.

I went to my preferred boutique gym. I will not say the name here for I do not wish to associate this beautiful studio full of trainers I adore with fear or crime.

After a very intense class, I was struck by the sudden thought I should stop by the front desk and sign up for a class tomorrow with the receptionist.

This is silly; it takes me two minutes online from the comfort of my desk.

But stop I did. I even remarked on how silly it was to interrupt the receptionist's morning, but at least I got to chat with her. I like to flirt (friendly flirt!) with everyone I encounter. I feel it brightens the day, at least for me, whether or not the other responds.

And then, the few minutes passed, and I was all set for tomorrow's class and as I turned to the door

Sirens, helicopters, people fleeing into our gym from the back alley, police, guns drawn, clear and present danger,

right where I would have walked

in the line of fire

if I had walked out the two minutes earlier

to walk home.


I whispered Bless You to everyone I walked past on the way home, people of every race and age and religion and gender. Babies on their daddy's shoulders. The kitchen workers from the restaurant who were fleeing the danger. The homeless guy on the bike. The police. The sky.


In class, I had been listening to "Titanium" by Sia. This song always brings tears to my eyes; it makes me very emotional. I know that sounds silly. It's like getting weepy over, oh, I don't know... Rhythm is a Dancer. Or The Twist. But I get emotional because it triggers thoughts about my lost years as a struggling singer, about the story of Lauren diPino I just read thanks to ASCAP about how hard it is to "make it" as a musician, about my many prominent acquaintances in the music biz, the kind of household names who could have given me a hand but didn't or felt they couldn't or what have you. Maybe it was me, maybe it was like diPino's article says.... great voice, wrong timing.

I recently revisited my script for my old one woman show, "The One," which I wrote about my love life back in 2011 and performed across the country as a healing balm both for my broken romantic dreams (I know, I'm so dramatic) but also, I realized, rereading through both a screenplay version I wrote in 2013 and the original stageplay monologues, for my broken dreams.

Now I am old enough to feel like I don't give a shit, I'm who I am, I'm talented, I'm creating, I'm an artist; I've survived as an artist who pursued her passions her whole life and will never not be an artist. I'm lucky. I didn't stay home and wonder. I truly live every day as if it were my last.


In 2010 and 2011, my sister and I were roommates. We lived together in a spacious apartment right in the middle of Hollywood. She left for work early every day. I was writing my one woman show, my music career on hold and in confusion. (I'm still proud of this song though):

One morning, I had a hike planned with a friend, but I had to stop and put money in the bank before I met up with her. Normally I would walk for such a thing. The bank was a block and a half from my house, it was going to open in 11 minutes, and it was on the walkable way to the hike. But everything in me said DRIVE. DRIVE. DRIVE NOW. DRIVE.

That was silly. I would drive, park, and get there early. So instead, I set out on foot.

But something said, rush, run. So I ran. It was silly. I got there just as the manager was unlocking the door. It was early but he let me in. And just as I past the threshhold of the bank doors,

An Audi crashed right into the front door

Just where the manager and I had been

It stopped two feet from us

Bashing in the infrastructure of the doors

Blocking the entire entrance

had I not hurried

I would have been there right when that Audi was there.

The manager and I stared at each other

That feeling like when you come face to face with an animal in the wild

that presence of life and death

That here, now, are we in danger, we're paused, all time is now is everything


How many times do we escape death without ever even knowing it?

How many times do we escape wide-eyed

This is why I live every day as if it were my last. Because I have been saved: saved from my own hand. Saved from rolling my car at age 19 on an icy, hilly, twisty turny road in Minnesota the day before I turned 20. Saved from being broadsided by a cement mixing truck. Saved from a bad situation with a drug dealer at a party I wandered into. Saved from a motorcycle roll over. Saved from a collision face to face. Saved from a stalking ex. Saved from an Audi. Saved from muggers with guns at my head.


That is all so dramatic. I haven't had drama like that since-

it's not true though. Just two years ago there was that boy who committed suicide right outside my window in an act of murder-suicide and partner abuse. There is crime in a big city; you learn to be smart and aware. So there is drama everywhere, but these days, I keep it as far from my personal life as I can, and I bless these children of God who get caught in its path.


So let me embrace you with a kiss, and send you blessings of love and art and beauty. Let me plead with you to call the ones you love and tell them so. Let me plead with you to make peace where you can, to dance in the rain, to read a novel, to discover a new songwriter, to write a play, to get out and play soccer with your friends.


Here are the beautiful things that also happened:

My dog greeted me with a kiss

My partner looks really cute in the morning with his hair all crazy

I had time for a nutritious smoothie bowl and a great cup of Kimbo coffee before class

My workout was fun and challenging

I'm wearing new pants I got on a fluke- UPS delivered a box delivered to a friend full of "defective" clothing from a fancy workout wear company. It was delivered TO her, she didn't order it, but still here the clothes were. So we divvied up the clothes and I took what fit me and she took what fit her or her daughter. And my pants are so cute.

I'm having lunch today with a lady who is 8.75 months pregnant. She could pop at anytime, really, even today! And if you've never given birth or witnessed the miracle, I suggest you do. It's legit the coolest thing I've ever seen or been a part of (helping my nephew be born), and I've done some cool stuff.

If you are reading this, your heart is beating, or you are a ghost. Either way, that is a miracle. :)