Happy Solstice. Ten years ago today I woke up in Telluride for the first time. I arrived late the night before, not super late but late enough that the only vacant camping spot was half falling into a river. I was thrilled. I was in Telluride, and the river would sing me to sleep.
The next day I woke to a sky so crisp I thought it might melt in my mouth. Lilacs. Smiling faces. Music. I was already in love when I took the stage at Telluride Bluegrass Festival. I felt my chest might explode, and not only because of the altitude.
The performance went as well as I could've hoped... though my hope was pretty wild back then. I was very green. So green I didn't recognize the man waiting for me afterwards as that night's headliner. Not until we were halfway through lunch did I recognize his face from the cover of the gossip magazine I'd seen at my sister's apartment the month before.
After sharing soggy peach cobbler we circled through the campground to drop off my stuff. At first I couldn't find my tent because now it really was falling into the river - I forgot to mention that it was broken so I had tied it to branches above, which apparently had given way. "That's so punk rock," he said. "Don't worry, you'll stay with me tonight."
And so it went... if you've heard "Back in NY" you know the gist of it. My enchantment deepened, heightened, expanded in every direction as I stood backstage, wide-eyed and enamored with not one but with All. I didn't just feel like a fish out of water, I felt like a fish with its face pressed against the side of the aquarium, drooling fish drool, longing for admission to this super cool fish school. And yet... I was a fish, too.
There's too much to squeeze in this little box but one image that still makes me laugh is that of him scooping up armfuls of candy and videos (actual videos #tbt) in the hotel lobby after his show, manic, elated, childlike, qualities I see in musicians of all ages, all over the world. Maybe it's what makes us crazy and difficult to live with... but it's also why you love us. And we love you.