Today marks our second wedding anniversary! We decided to do something special, so we just got back from...
Memphis! It was our first visit, and we just loved it! We stayed at the Heartbreak Hotel - the perfect mix of music history with a hint of kitsch. We spent yesterday afternoon at Sun Records. We heard amazing stories that never make the TV documentaries. And we stood right in the Sun studio. The air changes when you walk through those doors. Music and history and life have steeped into the floors and the tiles and the dust in the corners. I held the mic that Elvis and Johnny and Jerry Lee sang into. It was truly amazing.
Last night, we hit Beale Street. It was fairly quiet (I think this is their off-season) but it was still ringing with the sound of the blues. They had all the traffic blocked off, so you could wander in safety. The bars all had open doors and windows, so the music mingled in the street. We saw a great band at an outdoor stage, and people were dancing and grooving on park benches. We wandered into A. Schwab's, the oldest general store in the South. It was like Honest Ed's, but even older, with a strange but charming time-warp appeal.
This morning, we went to Graceland, which we've learned is properly pronounced GRACE-lind. There's a fine line to be walked in Memphis - We wanted to learn about the history and touch the energy that started it all, but we didn't want to be tourists. We wanted to be inspired, but not by buying key-chains and ashtrays. So, we stood across the street from Graceland, and remembered the talent of the man, and the generosity of a son who wanted a great house for his Momma. As I looked at those famous gates and that long stone wall, I couldn't help but remember film footage of mourners lining the streets, leaving flowers and tears for the man that inspired them. We'll probably tour Graceland some time in the future, but for today, just being there was enough.
We had lunch at a Memphis institution, Corky's - without a doubt the best BBQ we have ever tasted. We thought about visiting another music museum, but what we really wanted was to feel inspired by the musical energy of the town. So we sat in a cafe, pulled out a note pad, and did some Memphis dreamin'. We talked about how we were doing with our 2008 goals. We made plans for the month and for the week. And we talked about how we could each help the other with our individual goals.
In our wedding ceremony, we both wrote vows that stated our commitment to each other, not just as people, but also as artists. I vowed to "always choose the dream over the comfortable". For some people, making a "to do list" might be a weird way to spend their anniversary, but for us, it was the perfect way to celebrate our partnership and love for one another.
I'm entering the week feeling strong and inspired, and that's always a good thing.
On a quick side note, I want to applaud the Grammies for having such a great presentation of Gospel music. In those 5 minutes, the Gospel was preached to millions of people around the world. In a city ruled by money, power, and the gods of fame, the name of Jesus was lifted up and praised and blessed. Amen to that!