View this email in your browser
A 20-something year old Christmas gift, still giving.

Resolutions are just expectations, which are often unrealistic. I’m really good at unrealistic expectations, and allowing my failure to meet them send me into a tailspin. So it seems in my best interest to skip the resolutions. Perhaps reassessment is a better route. I guess the end of a year tends to naturally default to that mode for me, so maybe I should also be taking it a step further as we step into the new year, and think about how I can respond to my reassessment. A New Year’s Response.

The reassessment is in progress, and I’m still processing and examining, but one thing I know is this feeling of stillness among dizzying motion. Not stillness in a healthy, intentional way, but the feeling of the world spinning on without you. The way it feels when there is a death within your circle--everything else is still going around you, but you’re stuck in slow motion in the dark. This time of year often pushes me in that direction, but this year’s muscles seem stronger. Like they’ve been doing benchpresses with the weight of the pandemic closing in on its second year and me turning 41. I’m sure some of you may have rolled your eyes or laughed at that last part. It’s not the age itself--I know it’s young in the big picture--but the snowballing visions and thoughts that have come with it, tumbling into something bigger by a recent health scare. It’s as if for years I’ve been walking by a painting on the living room wall depicting mortality, and I’ve now realized it has actually been a mirror.

There’s a lot to unpack as I assess what feels like an unraveling. My threads fraying and flailing in the winter wind. But perhaps having them separated will allow a better view,  and they can be traced back farther than when they were woven tightly, and I’ll be able to see how they want to be put back together--what my New Year’s Response should be.

As 2021 is ending, I’m following a particular thread back to where it got weaved in over 20 years ago, as Christmas gift from a dear high school friend. We haven’t stayed in super close contact over recent years, but we reach out here and there, particularly since moving back to Louisiana to check in about how we’re both weathering hurricanes. With COVID and schedules, we haven’t actually seen each other since it started, and it had been a few years prior to that when we did see each other. But some time after we moved to our place, I was going through a box of things we’d left with my parents while we were living on the road full-time, and there she was with me as I read her sweet note in the front of a beautiful copy of Kahlil Gibran’s “The Prophet” she’d gifted me so many years ago. I sent her a picture of it and put the book in its new home on our bookshelf. Not long after that, the prompt for one of my monthly songwriting groups was “prophet.” I pulled the book down to leaf through it for inspiration, and a character and story found their way to me and I started a song. What I shared with my group that month didn’t quite feel done, so it went into the ever-growing “working on” pile. 

A couple of weeks ago, the song was randomly running through Pete’s head. We usually take any unsolicited showing-up of a song in one of our heads as a sign that we should pull it out to work on again. So we did. Then last week, as we were closing in on an arrangement (which uses a cool new-to-me guitar tuning and more involved fingerpicking than I’m used to), I made a quick run to the store near our house. Because of where a parking spot was available and the direction I was facing, I did something I usually don’t, and backed in to the spot. The moment I put the car in park I see that friend who gave me the book and her wife through the windshield, walking back to their car. I knock on my driver side window and yell her name through the glass as I clamor out to their beautiful in-person faces for a lovely and long overdue parking lot chat. 

A 20-something year long thread, showing up in the pattern again. I love this circle of gifts. And that we can weave it all your way. 

In the spirit of sharing as this year closes, we want to offer what we sent to our Patreon community this month. This newsletter was the post, and here is a private link to the video of the new song we’re working on. If you’re interested in joining our little community over at Patreon to receive monthly offerings of what we’re creating and a behind-the-scenes look, you can find more info here.

Thank you for being here. We love connecting with you through this newsletter, and hope you are safe and healthy. May we all find what we need, and what we want our New Year’s Responses to be, as we turn the calendar page. 

// Music & Merch //
In the spirit of sharing as this year closes, we want to offer what we sent to our Patreon community this month. This newsletter was the post, and
 here is a private link to the video of a new song we’re working on. If you’re interested in joining our little community over at Patreon to receive monthly offerings of what we’re creating and a behind-the-scenes look, there's more info here.
Learn about early & exclusive access at Patreon

Web store is always open!

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

The many faces of Mavis.
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: mirror
(Found this one, from almost a year ago, after writing the above essay. Interesting to see the cycles our brains follow.)

a face in shadow
sunlight across strands of hair
and an ear
and a shoulder
dust within its beam
like fake snow in a globe
refrigerator hum
soft breaths from dogs on a couch

i want to look away
at everything around and within
this piece of space that is my life
at every good thing i am grateful for
every mistake
everything i haven’t yet done
everywhere but at the one thing
that can do anything about any of it

because there are mistakes there too
that hit in a different way
when you see them staring back at you

i shift my weight
to my shorter leg
put my hands
in my blue sweater pockets
like an unfinished painting
inside a dark wooden frame
begging me to get to work
before the paint disappears
Spring tour is in the works, provided it's safe to do so.
Details/advanced tickets links for all events will be 
found here as dates are announced.
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,
Crystal & Pete (who is splitting fallen wood, but sends his love)
You’ve bought our albums, you’ve come to our shows, you’ve signed up for our newsletter--you rock! Wondering what other no-cost things you could do to support our music?
  • If you’re on Facebook and want to like our page there, you can do that here.
  • If you're on Instagram and would like to follow us, you can do that here.
  • Think others may enjoy our music and newsletter? Forward them this email or tell them they can check us out and sign up at
  • If you use Spotify, and would like to follow us, that's here. And if you make playlists there, consider adding one of our songs if it fits in. 
  • If you use Pandora, you can create an Ordinary Elephant channel, or if an OE song comes on that you like, give it a thumbs up. 
Copyright 2021 Ordinary Elephant, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp