So Mama took her milkbags out on the town tonight. And, I was wowed.
I’ve seen Shawn Mullins in concert (at the Birchmere in fact) once before, and I remember being wowed then, too. Enough that I was playing his tunes compulsively for weeks afterwards and having dirty little dreams about him. Enough time went by that I forgot the particular high I got from the show, but not that I would want to go again.
So, with my four-week-old and my two-year-going-on-sixteen-year-old at home with Dad, I packed up the diaper bag (any moms out there carry a purse anymore?) and met my sister at the show.
We both said, as we floated out of there, that after ONE WORD out of his mouth, we were spun for the whole evening. If you have never seen him live, GO. His voice is canyon deep and wide, he plays the hell out of the guitar, he’s friendly and talkative (but not annoyingly so) and his lyrics. His LYRICS.
I dub this Shawn Mullins lyrics week at Fannfare. Every post will not only have a song lyric as a title, but it will be a Shawn Mullins lyric. Maybe by the end of the week you will see what I mean. There is a particular poetry to songwriting that gets to me even more than proper poetry, and this guy has it down.
So I really went somewhere tonight. I sat, sort of on the edge of my seat, and had a thousand thoughts. I thought about parenthood (and how I could say a thousand things about that) and about marriage (another thousand things) and about Ruby and Shepherd (try to listen to Shimmer and not think about kids — yours or anyone else’s). My most lasting thought, though, was more of a daydream.
I imagined myself in a VW bus with Shawn Mullins (whoever else doesn’t matter, wanna come?) — travelling the road and singing for our suppers. I could sing backup, sure! I could not have kids, not have a husband, not have a home. I could be in Atlanta and meet Shawn at the coffee shop or the cemetery or the parking lot of the bar to write songs and smoke cigarettes and drink beer deep into the afternoon.
I thought about having no responsibilities (which is not to say that Shawn Mullins doesn’t, but his music sort of took me to that place), no one to report in to, to be a guardian for. I thought about lazy afternoons and warm air rushing through my hair as I drove to nowhere in particular and laughter and confidence and feeling full. About not being scared. About not watching your heart walk around outside your body and the freedom of that.
I wished, really hard, for those couple hours, that I was a completely different person. And, that when Shawn Mullins came out to sign CDs (he didn’t), that 15 years would be magically shaved off my age (pthth, it wasn’t), and I would be in that van tomorrow morning, with coffee on my breath, that wind in my hair, and not a care in the world.
As it is, I have a newborn at home, a toddler that challenges me every minute, and my own Shaun. With a U.
And, as much as that scares me on nights like this…as much as I think I don’t deserve it or I can’t live up to it or I can’t flippin stand it or I can’t love it enough…I am grateful for it. Because, the truth is, my husband will read this entry and he will think it’s cute. He would probably even sanction at least one van ride as long as I was home for a walk in the cemetery by the weekend.
And tonight? All it will take is a whispered “Shaun, honey?” and he will get out of our bed and do the 3AM feeding.
How cool is that?
As Shawn Mullins sings, into my blood and down to my toes, everything’s gonna be all right.
Shawn Mullins, Twin Rocks, Oregon