When you are with a musician, you know the inside story to many of the lines and themes of their songs. It's the ultimate look behind the scenes of making the music. I always smile at the line that sounds like "Champagne sunrise by the lake with you" because I remember the sunrise in Champaign, IL that Ash took me to 14 years ago, and the dew on the grass as we drank orange juice and stood holding hands waiting for whatever would come. What came was an orange glowing sun, stripes of pink, orange and blue, and a house and two kids many years down the road.
When I put a song on, sometimes, my mind combs the song for things to hold on to. Sometimes it is the line itself. The memories of visiting our dear friend, Annie, in NYC when we moved to the east coast. Our 13-hour road trip to Montreal to find a canadian diamond engagement ring in January during a huge snowstorm here that resulted in the Candians laughing at us for visiting them in January and telling us the best place to buy Canadian diamonds was in Virginia near where we lived in Maryland. Sometimes it's not the lines themselves or the meanings of the songs that I hold dear. There's the music Ash performed while I met him on tour in Amsterdam and Paris before science had confirmed my pregnancy with Noah, but I was convinced a life Ash and I made bloomed inside of me. Then the tour in Japan where we hung out with Miyuki and the shows were amazing, the after parties more fun than I could ever describe, and the side trip to Kyoto where we stood hand-in-hand feeling alone in the mountains and we talked about how that exact feeling is what world peace would feel like. Ash's music reminds me of when we looked at the pictures we took in that mountain and how we felt so alone and at peace, but in truth, there were people all over around us. And how, upon realizing that we understood that must be what world peace feels like. When he told me he was ready for kids at the end of a song before he had told me in person. The times each of our children kicked furiously to the beat alone with their father's voice. The pain of the miscarriage I had between Noah and Maya and how lost I felt, and how I listened to Ebony Sea on repeat. The little boy with Cancer that would listen to Ash's music while in Chemo, and the young man that zoned out to it while his father died.
Ash's music gives people a window into his soul in a way that many other people never let anyone in. That coupled with the experiences, the discussions we've had and just being around him for the last 14 years means I'm that much closer to the core of him. I've long called Ash my own personal superman. Before kids, I would laugh that he was a brilliant engineer by day, an amazing rapper by night. Now, he does all of that and manages to be an amazing father. It helps that I love hip hop, and Ash is truly one of my all time favorite musicians, but not all of the memories are happy. There are tours I didn't want him to go on, lines that break my heart and so on. Loving a musician and their music means loving it all.
Ever since Ash started recording while we were together, I've annoyed him with "Is the song about me?" as soon as he walks in the door. It's no secret that with busy lives and trying to be the best parents we can be there is not as much time for things like recording. Recently, Ash has fit some sessions in with a friend, and they are creating some music together that Ash is enjoying. Earlier this week, Ash went to one of those sessions. This morning, on my way to driving Noah to school, I moved Ash's car. As I turned the key, the familiar voice of the man I love filled the car with a new beat. I only moved it across the lot, but I heard a line. "Do you know how much food costs these days?" and then "Do you know what private school costs?" I'm probably misquoting those lines. I only heard them briefly, but I know them all too well. I'm always overspending on the food budget, and Ash is always worried about tuition costs. 14 years of loving, and I still make my way into songs.
Let's all just hope that my *current* housekeeping skills didn't also make their way in to any songs.