Tuesday Triangle Tunes : Ingrid Michaelson, Home

Even in the harshest of winter I feel so warm
Even when the marks climb up the wall I still feel small

This is my home
This is my home
Where I go when I’ve got nowhere else to go
This is my home
This is my home
Where I go when I don’t know where else to go

I know everything about this place, it wears your face
Even when my body blows away, my soul will stay

This is my home
This is my home
Where I go when I’ve got nowhere else to go
This is my home
This is my home
Where I go when I don’t know where else to go

Do you feel safe?
Do you feel safe?
Do you feel safe?
Do you feel safe?

This is my home
This is my home
Where I go when I’ve got nowhere else to go
This is my home
This is my home
Where I go when I don’t know where else to go

 

Gold in the Dirt, Danae

I love music. I don’t really dig heavy metal or rap, but otherwise, bring me ALL of the music. It uplifts, it lets me connect with my soul, it quiets, it ramps up, it whispers, it screams, it speaks. It motivates, it encourages and it empowers.

Recently, I bought myself an Echo and have not looked back. I simply say “Echo?” and my little friend plays anything I ask it to. LOVE. You should get one. Seriously!

Every year, I choose a word that will help guide and support the year ahead  — both personally and in business. This year, it’s disrupt. I’ll share more on that soon, but I’ve come to realize that my word gains more traction when I assign a song to it. A personal anthem, a power song, a musical mantra.

This year, the song that found its way to me is Gold in the Dirt, by Danae. I don’t remember how I found Danae, but I am so thankful. The lyrics are meaningful and fit my intentions for the Year of Disrupt!

I’m done living my life
Just to get out alive
Yellow flickering light
Got it in my sights

Doesn’t really what it costs us
Gonna carry this shovel till the sun comes up
I’m gonna break up the dust in the earth

Cause there’s gold in the dirt, gold in the dirt
Dig a little deeper, there’s gold in the dirt
~
Black, blue, blood runs through
Every inch is proof
Shine, shine, deepen the mind
Leave the past  behind
~
Doesn’t really what the ending is

I got one shot, I’m gonna take it
I’m gonna shake up the dust in the earth

Doesn’t really what it costs us
Gonna carry this shovel till the sun comes up
Doesn’t really what the ending is
I got one shot, I’m gonna take it
I’m gonna break up the dust in the earth

Because connection is important to me, I wanted to reach out to Danae and learn a bit more about her, and I also REALLY, really wanted to know about the gold triangle necklace she always wears, because, you know, I’m all about all things Triangle!! Graciously, she answered my email right away, and the result of our connection and dialogue resulted in this Q&A. Let me introduce you to …
danae logo

Danae, share a brief introduction of you, your background and your journey to where you are today:

My creative journey has been one of personal discovery and joy. As a little girl, I loved to sing, but I don’t have memories of thinking I would be a “star” or a “singer” when I grew up. I also loved to write poetry, which eventually led me to start songwriting. I simply created to create; out of a deep love for it. Perhaps this also came from the fact that my older brothers were always in bands and shooting for the stars. I simply loved the music making experience!

How has your journey with music changed your perspective on life and the world:

Being a performing musician has taken me into situations and moments that I could have never imagined. On a tour to Germany in 2015, I found myself taking a bus to a small town on the outskirts of Bremen. The local pawn shop owner said that I would find the venue if I just kept walking. So I walked a mile with my backpack guitar and finally came across a beautiful retreat center. As the clock struck 7 pm, the show started and the room was filled with 50 Germans there to hear my music! This story is less about me and more about the power of the unknown. Music creation and performance has taught me to never underestimate people but to always be confident in myself as I share the gifts I’ve been given.

Danae

What was the biggest catalyst to the creation of Gold in the Dirt?

Gold in the Dirt started simply as a title and the first lyric: “I’m done living my life just to get out alive.” I can’t remember when I first wrote that down, but I took it into a co-write with AG, a producer in LA, and she loved it! We ended up writing the song in like an hour, which for my pop songs is lightning fast.

What does “home” mean to you?

Home is where you are loved for who you are. Home is where people know your quirks and your history and still dig deeper. Because I travel a lot and grew up in a number of different places, home really has become a place where family and friends are.

What does “community” mean to you, both personally and with your music?

Community is the place you feel safe to create and a group of people who send you out into the world. Nashville, where I lived for 2.5 years, has an incredible community. If you have an idea and passion, people will rally around you to help bring it to life. Community is also the place I often find the most authentic acceptance.

So this triangle necklace! Tell me a bit about the story behind Direction and … how were you connected originally to Sarah, the artist who created the necklace?

Danae

Sarah and I met over 9 years ago when I first moved to Washington D.C. We were in a book club together, and she was one of those people I just connected with instantly. I had only known her a few months when she asked me to sing in her wedding. And once you sing in someone’s wedding you are friends for life. It’s kind of the deal. The idea for the Direction Necklace was a natural outgrowth of our friendship and previous collaborations. I wanted something signature and special, a reminder of potential, change and hope. The Direction Necklace has been that for me and I hope it is that for others as well.

Note from Sarah Bayot: Each purchase of a Direction Necklace provides a scholarship for under resourced children to attend school. Currently, Kicheko is partnered with Mango Tree School, a primary school based in Uvira that educates over 200 primary-level students in the South Kivu province who are underresourced and cannot afford school fees and the other costs associated with attending school. Kicheko is an attempt to combat this cycle by identifying students who are most in need and working with families to ensure that their children stay in school year round.

Note from Naomi: If you purchase a Direction Necklace, please let me know in the comments!

How have you found your place in the “giving back” space and what is most often on your heart in terms of how you can serve others?

When it comes to giving back, I love to partner with people who share a common “why” with me and a drive to overcome obstacles along the way. I’m always open to fresh collaborations that will create positive change in the word.

What do you do to feed the desire for local and global connection

I think that desire is simply in my blood stream. Having lived overseas in Russia as a child and traveling to over 20 countries, I am constantly looking for connections to the world beyond myself. On a practical level, I try to read the news regularly and to stay connected with friends in industries different than my own.

Who influences you? Who do you read / listen to … or look to for inspiration and motivation?

I have a unique and solid community of girlfriends who I have known for over 5 years, and my conversations with them are a significant influence on me. They ask the deep, cutting questions I need to grow and give me a safe place to say my rough draft thoughts out-loud. Musically, I try to keep a pretty steady stream of the newest pop. I like to hear what’s happening in the market. Books wise, recently I’ve been reading a lot of articles about the mind and how it works. The way connections are made and the power of positive thinking. I also glean a lot of inspiration from my personal Faith. Ultimately, I believe that each of us were created to create.

What do you think about vulnerability and authenticity … and what do those two words look like when they show up in the work you do?

I aim to be authentic in everything I do. Whether at work, at the café, writing a song, loving my mom, listening to a friend, authenticity is the act of being present, of giving your real mind and heart to the moment to engage. To me, vulnerability is the next level deep past authenticity. You can be authentic but not vulnerable. I want my music and life to ring with the honesty of an authentic voice while also communicating the truth of a vulnerable heart.

Danae

 

What is next for you?

I’m currently working on a remix of Direction that will come out in Q1 of this year, which I am super excited about. It’s from a favorite Nashville producer of mine – Nilo G. He’s creative and I think fans will love the reimagined version of last year’s hit! Also, I new songs that are in pre-production. So keep an eye out cause the best music is yet to come for sure!

Where can we find you online?

The best place to connect online is Instagram. I think it’s my favorite social media platform. In addition to that, my website danae.co always had the latest stuff brewing. If you are on Facebook, don’t miss out on that too!

~

Danae, thank you for popping by and sharing you and your music!

Naomi Signature - small

I don’t want to settle

“Buzz me after you get settled.”

“I hope you get to stay at the next place longer.”

“I don’t know how you do this all of the time!”

All of these sentiments make reference to comments received during the Summer of 2014 when we moved from Florida (after only one year) to Northern Virginia. I found a draft blog post today … and the comments mirror what I recently heard as we prepared for yet another move in 2016. This time, just two years later, from Northern Virginia to Columbus, Ohio.

Here’s the thing.

When you shift and move often, you do one of two things. You either dive deep in a place … or you stay on the surface and bob until your next posting. Neither is right and neither is wrong.

When You Plant Naomi Hattaway I Am A Triangle

  • What if it’s not a bad thing to never stay long … what if it’s ok to never be settled?
  • What if it’s an ok thing TO leave often and leave well.
  • What if it’s not abnormal to be in a place for the course of 24 odd months or the better part of a season in your life.

I’m convinced that the answer to whether one should stay or go, lies in the deeper meaning of whether your relationships — while you were in a place — were meaningful, impactful and truthful.

set·tle1
ˈsedl/
verb
past tense: settled; past participle: settled
  1. 1.
    resolve or reach an agreement about a thing.
    synonyms: resolve, sort out, solve, clear up, end, fix, work out, iron out, straighten out, set right, rectify, remedy, reconcile;
  2. 2.
    adopt a more steady or secure style of life, especially in a permanent job and home.

Per that definition, it would appear that “settle” is a positive state. That anything BUT settled would be deemed negative. Is it truly bad though, to say “I don’t want to settle”?

If you think through those synonyms, it’s downright depressing to think of the opposite, when you are not settled:

  • unresolved
  • not sorted
  • unclear
  • at the beginning
  • not fixed
  • needing to be worked out
  • disheveled
  • unreconciled

I’m choosing to be in the camp where I opt to NOT be settled. I’d like to think that our definition of the word is simply meant to be interpreted as a family who is willing to make the most of a stay, during the time they inhabit a zip or postal code.

And if that means we are a bit messy, “full on”, disheveled and passionate about the communities that we live in — while we have the opportunity to reside there — I can be ok with that.

What say you? Are deep roots better than long flung shallow roots? It’s said that some of the strongest trees in the forest have shallow roots that stretch on for miles …

 

Tuesday Triangle Tunes: Let it Matter, JohnnySwim

tuesday-triangle-tunes

Yesterday, I had a delightful lunch with some new friends from my I Am A Triangle Columbus TriCONNECT group. Louise and Terri and I sat, talked, laughed and carried on for nearly two hours and it was as if we’d always known each other!

columbus-triconnect

Afterwards, felt completely torn with conflicting emotions as I sat in the Jeep before heading back to our new home. On one hand, I was overjoyed by the fact that because of the Triangle community, less than two weeks in our new home city, I had FRIENDS! I now instantly have women who I can ring up or pop over to have lunch with and talk about all of our experiences and where we’ve been and what we’ve seen and … it was lovely. On the other hand, it made me remember again we seem to continue choosing to make decision where we have to say goodbye to our amazing tight-knit community of friends in the places we have left behind. I wanted to instead be back THERE and having lunch with THEM … not here.

As I sat, shivering a bit because winter is coming, and wishing I would quit getting so emotional about all of the things, I turned on the radio and hit scan. I haven’t set my new radio station presets yet, and I figured then was as good of a time as any to make one more “settle in” step. Quite ironically, Let It Matter by Johnnyswim, came on the radio.

In a recent interview about the background story to the song, one half of the JohnnySwim duo said:

“In a season of loss and tragedy a few years back, it often felt like there was an unspoken pressure to be OK and get back to normal. But grief doesn’t work that way. It’s not meant to. We had one friend who calmed the rush in us to feel better quickly. She said the best thing she learned when she had lost her father was to actually feel it. He was worth the sorrow and the longing, and it was her honor to grieve him. That was a healing thought to us and one that we haven’t let go of. We refer to ‘Let it Matter’ as ‘hope in a minor key’ because that’s what it has been to us, permission to hurt in order to heal.”

Sometimes moving from one experience to another, whether it be repatriating, moving abroad for the first time, or simply relocating in the same country from one location to another, can feel like a big, heavy moment with a lot of grief. Mind you, it isn’t the pain or tragedy of a death, and I don’t want to minimize that experience or process. However, when you put your all, your heart and soul into relationships and then choose to move away from the convenience of them (even though close relationships can still exist thanks to the internet, snail-mail and a good ole phone call), losing the in-person support, the awareness that your best friend is just ’round the corner or the likelihood you’ll see them around town is something that for me, has been something to come to terms with.

Just this morning, I spoke with a dear friend about the people we meet who are hardened and don’t get all emotional about their losses and experiences. We wondered a bit why we can’t be “more like them” so that it doesn’t feel so raw or hurtful. For me personally, I choose to “have all the feels” and live out my experiences, grief, celebration, sorrow and loneliness out in the open. I would rather choose emotions and vulnerability than strength, if that means holding it all in.

Let It Matter hit me at a spot where I needed to hear it. Leaving a community where we had been firmly entrenched, to start over yet again has felt like a huge loss for me personally, and I know for our children as well.  Let it matter. Feel the feels, recognize the loss … and then perhaps, that is the part of the process that allows one to move from grief to celebration.

Let It Matter, lyrics (video at the end of the blog post)

I don’t want to feel better
I don’t want to feel good
I want to feel it hurt like losing someone should

I’m gonna let my heart break
I’m gonna let it burn
I’m gonna stake my claim with the flame I know it hurled

Chorus:
Run baby run
Don’t you know I’ve tried
But escape is a waste ain’t no use in hiding
you know the best way over’s through

So if it matters let it matter
If your heart’s breaking let it ache
Catch those pieces as they scatter
Know your hurt is not in vain

Don’t hide yourself from the horror
Hurt today here tomorrow
If it’s fragile and it shatters
Let it matter, let it matter

They say you know it ain’t easy
I wouldn’t want it to be
Cause ease is for the shallow
But we were from the deep

I don’t want no distractions
Don’t try to please me for one day
You are worth the joy my love,
you are worth the pain