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Spirituality, story-telling, and music roots run deep in my family.

Growing up in the American South as a creative, queer identified female, I quickly learned to "go along to get along" and thus began the challenge of becoming whole, when so much of me was evidently not allowed. Art and learning about cross-cultural truths became a resting place for my soul. I have been deeply influenced by my culture of origin's complex history of oppression, its folkloric inheritances, and the relational challenges that can come with righteous fervor. My family taught me many things, among which were curiosity, reciprocity, and good will. Blessings were synonymous with sufferings, and I have learned that paradox to be inescapable; that our life is also our medicine, and our medicine can be a gift to our community.

Whether honoring my blue-grass ancestors who sung the red out of that of North Carolina clay, reframing the spiritual footsteps of my family's multi-cultural religious backgrounds, or exploring how my values for compassionate social justice blossomed from the soil of great conflict - I write to make right many wrongs, and play piano because it is a balm for the soul. 

Art, like ceremony, may be my greatest teacher for these reasons. I learned to correlate effort with play; that mistakes can be a gateway to the imagination; and that respecting the senses will eventually build the muscle memory of faith. I feel at home at the alter of those black and white keys and an empty page, where spontaneity fades should, have-to, and must into grey. And as a recovering perfectionist, I can tell you...that's much needed!

I am so grateful for the practice of leaning in and letting go. I hope you'll do the same and find a cozy, quiet spot to lay down, light a candle, listen, and breathe deep. 

Thanks for stopping by.

 

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Blessing is the result of a collaboration between Seattle artists Mary Anne Bennick and David Close. Mary Anne originally recorded the song as a piano improvisation in 2014. She later worked with David to compose instrumental accompaniment for cello, played by Brad Hawkins, and violin, played by Brandon Vance. Blessing was recorded at Seattle's Jack Straw Studio and engineered by Camelia Jade.