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The spot we're lucky to call home.

If you're mainly looking for upcoming live streaming shows and want to skip ahead, click here.

I left the house for the first time in 3 weeks. Pete has been the default errand-runner, so I haven’t ventured out since we said goodbye to our tripod member of the pack, Parker, on August 18th. It’s strange to see the world moving when I feel so still. Streets filled with cars that are packed together and moving like blood cells in a vein, stores filling and emptying of people like they are lungs breathing them in and out. I’m not sure where I fit within this global organism. Do I belong? Am I being helpful? Am I serving a function? Or am I an intruder, an outsider, a proverbial virus? 

I’ve started and restarted this newsletter a number of times. I can’t put my finger on what I want to say, on what feels worthy of taking up space. I’ve felt dark and heavy, and don’t want to put that on you. I also don’t want to come across as searching for sympathy. So I end up coming across as silent. A blank spot in your inbox.

There is no reason I absolutely have to write this newsletter. No one is forcing me. But I feel that we’ve come to an unspoken agreement, that I show up here roughly once a month. I like to stick to what has been agreed upon. So I’m showing up to say hi, we miss you. We deeply miss the connection of a live, in-person show and that exchange of energy. 

We’ve been working on projects around the house, cleaning up our property after hurricane Laura, reading, trying to get better at our instruments, writing, feeling, trying to be present in how much we have to be thankful for.

I know how incredibly lucky I am. I have nothing to complain about. But that doesn’t mean losses cannot exist. Luck and losses are not mutually exclusive. We can be thankful and be grieving. No matter how fortunate we find ourselves in this current moment, we have all lost things. And we all have permission to grieve them. But we also have permission to hope. I’m holding out for that. Here is something we came across yesterday that put a swell in my chest:

"A poet is somebody who feels, and who expresses his feelings through words.

This may sound easy. It isn’t.

A lot of people think or believe or know they feel — but that’s thinking or believing or knowing; not feeling. And poetry is feeling — not knowing or believing or thinking.

Almost anybody can learn to think or believe or know, but not a single human being can be taught to feel. Why? Because whenever you think or you believe or you know, you’re a lot of other people: but the moment you feel, you’re nobody-but-yourself.

To be nobody-but-yourself — in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else — means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.

As for expressing nobody-but-yourself in words, that means working just a little harder than anybody who isn’t a poet can possibly imagine. Why? Because nothing is quite as easy as using words like somebody else. We all of us do exactly this nearly all of the time — and whenever we do it, we’re not poets.

If, at the end of your first ten or fifteen years of fighting and working and feeling, you find you’ve written one line of one poem, you’ll be very lucky indeed.

And so my advice to all young people who wish to become poets is: do something easy, like learning how to blow up the world — unless you’re not only willing, but glad, to feel and work and fight till you die.

Does that sound dismal? It isn’t.

It’s the most wonderful life on earth.

Or so I feel."

    -E.E. Cummings

I look forward to the day we can reconnect in person. In the meantime, we have been sharing new songs and poetry over our at our Patreon community. We posted a video for a song called Birdie Was an Oak Tree last week, and will be posting some poetry soon. The video even features our secret bass player that has been quarantining with us, Deter Pamore (we think he may be related to Pete). We’ll be starting back up with streaming shows next month, and will be sure to let you know about them here.

As always, thank you for being here, and for believing in us.

// Music & Merch //

We recently shared the first listen and video of a new song (including our secret bass player) over at our Patreon community.
If you're interested in joining us there, click the button below to learn more.
Learn about early & exclusive access at Patreon

We've expanded our web store!

In addition to our CDs and poetry books, you can now order T-shirts, tote bags, and personalized handwritten lyrics or poetry.

One of my favorite pictures of Parker, parts of a pecan tree that Laura thought needed to go, and pre-storm Pete boarding up our front windows with old roofing tin.
OE Unedited
This is the section where we share an unedited journal entry or object write. 
(Object writing is a daily 10 minute writing exercise, where you write to a particular object in a sensory stream of consciousness kind of way. You can read more about it here.)
Object write topic: feather

there’s a hawk tail there in the hardwood
the grain gradually fading and darkening
in a pattern that’s usually in the sky

i guess the pattern was once in the sky too
single towering tree
hard to see for the forest

i break my stare and concentration
creak the next floorboard
breathe the next breath
fall back in the pattern of the morning
away from the pattern of the floor
but the pattern has changed

my breath grows deeper at the remembrance of it
my steps slower at the weight of it
my thoughts circling at the gravity of it
like a feather twirling to the ground
spinning like a pine seed
landing to let something grow
from what it has to give

a piece left to be found
when you’re not looking 

We've got several virtual concerts scheduled next month, which we'll list out in our next newsletter. 

They will mostly be broadcast through Crowdcast. Specific links to register can be found at our website here, or directly on the OE Crowdcast page here as the events are finalized.
As always, feel free to hit reply and say hello, or let us know if there is something in particular you'd like to see in our newsletters. Thank you for your support!

See you down the road (one of these days),
Crystal & Pete (who is doing computery things like creating virtual events, but sends his love)
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