The Mrs. just showed me a Facebook memory from this day last year, playing at a farmers market, wearing the same blue shirt and cowboy hat that I wore yesterday, playing at a farmer's market. I like farmer's markets for lots of reasons. Yesterday we were at a fairly new one in Water Valley, MS. I can't quantify it, but it feels like its just easier to connect in the small towns. I don't just mean performer to audience, but person to person. It was a relatively small market, but while I played, I watched my socially anxious wife walk around, shop, and get into extended conversations for over an hour. On my break I sat on a bench and talked to a couple of shoppers about The Allman Brothers, Gram Parsons and Jesse Ed Davis. I talked to a farmer about regional dialects of Acadians in Louisiana and Germans in South Texas. More than one person asked with a twinkle if I had seen the paper. Turns out my picture was in there with a bit about the farmer's market. Caption even said "All the way from Memphis!" This, not two weeks after writing the lyric "Don't look for my name in the paper." The universe is a funny old girl. One of my favorite things to watch was the vendors, giving shoppers and each other samples, beaming with pride the whole time. It reminds me of the nods and fist bumps among peers at one of our songwriter nights. It was a fine day. Today I got up and made a Spanish omelette with some farm eggs, little potatoes (I'm sure that's not what you call them but whatever) and fresh rosemary. I ate it with some bread made by our friends Kevin and Carrie. It tasted even better than it actually did.
Like many of us, my thoughts wander in the shower. I was recently challenged to lose 10 pounds in the next 3 months by my Dr. This is not a body shaming thing, he's also a friend that actually cares about the quality and length of my life. I didn't mention that I'm a type II diabetic. I don't like to talk about it. I don't even really like to think about it. It doesn't seem to much give a shit how I feel on the matter, so here we are. Don't worry, I'm managing it, some days better than others, over the 10 plus years I've had it. Every so often I have to reevaluate my relationship with food. I guess that applies to everything, really. Food is a tough one as it has to do with identity and addiction as it does with sustenance. If you think religions can't come to a consensus on anything, they ain't got shit on nutritionists. Don't eat meat, eat all meat, eggs are great, eggs will kill you, drink this vitamin shake that doesn't resemble food, eat like a cave man....It all becomes a roar of white noise, and the only thing cutting through is that fruit pie at the gas station. Not really but you get my point.
Farmer's markets are easy. Sure, its (sometimes) more expensive. Sure, you could fill one of those recycled bags with things that don't even resemble a vegetable. So what? I think it comes down to motivation. Nobody at a farmers market is getting rich. Its obviously a labor of love. There is a great deal of pride in giving you their best. Commercial food providers are not motivated by pride in craft and certainly not by your well being. It's different at a farmer's market. If you're not careful, you might learn something while you're stuffing a bag full of the good stuff.
So what has it got to do with art? That's what hit me in the shower. I have no problems sticking to my guns in this department. I like what I like. I play what I play. I write what I write. If I don't believe in it I don't say it, sing it or play it. I will probably never be popular or rich by this formula, but I am satisfied. I enjoy every thing about the making of the art (the making of, not the business of). Why can I not be as vigilant about what I consume? Not just food, but what I put in my head? Its complicated. Surely you didn't think I had a neat little concise answer? I don't know, but I'm sure as hell thinking on it. I'm aware that I am manipulated by media, convinience and very real addiction when it comes to putting harmful things in my mind and body. For now I'm just gonna try to be less chasing green and more eating greens, less eating sweet and more being sweet, less TV and more going out to see, more farmers market and less facebook. You get the picture (sorry, I couldn't stop there for a minute). Won't be easy but I got a wife that can make vegetables taste like food and a hard head about backing down from a challenge. I will let you know how it goes.