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I’ve never been a fan of categories.

On a recent trip with students, one of them was wearing a New England Patriots t shirt while our guide, a local from the country we were in, was explaining about how much he loves his country. This got me thinking of the differences in the two ideas.

One: a (mostly) pre-determined set of characteristics, a box or category that some people try to fit into, whether it is their truth or not.

Two: a verb in which all those characteristics are put into action plus some, allowing individuality in the way which a person shows love for their country.

I’m sure there are a lot of people for which there is a sort of Venn diagram where both one and two share many of the same characteristics. Which is awesome.  Maybe it’s just me. I do not enjoy being told “you have to do this” or “you have to act this way” (unless there are safety concerns or something – I’ll always wear my seatbelt). I also dislike the “here are the rules to be in this category” meaning that if you don’t follow those specific rules, there is something wrong with you and you don’t belong. And so, I prefer the idea of an action. I prefer the verb form. The form which allows a little bit of leeway. The form that encourages someone to take action, to question what they have been taught or even who they have been taught by, to take a knee or climb a statue.

So, if someone ever asked me “are you a patriot?” I don’t know if I could answer “yes.” But I could answer that I do love this country. That I am acting with love and that my love is not constrained by predetermined characteristics. I love all the good things it is and it is through and with this love that I want to change the bad things.

Peace,

Dann

Resolved: 2018 will rock.

This year has been a mixed bag. Actually, let’s be honest: 2017 was, in so many ways, a bit of a dumpster fire. But it has not been without its amazing, poignant, life-altering moments. It’s wonderful to know that this 3@H thing is still a thing, something that has meant a lot not just to us but also to others. We’ve been so grateful for all of the love and support this little project of ours has received.

Like everyone else, we have some New Year’s resolutions of our own. Here they are, in no particular order:

  • Put out an EP
  • Make that TWO EPs
  • Cover more Brandi Carlile songs
  • Cover more Bruce Springsteen songs
  • Write at least three rock anthems
  • Write at least two tear-your-heart singer-songwriter songs
  • Open for someone amazing
  • Have T-shirts that people are just dying to buy
  • Come up with one interesting piece of merchandise
  • Get a band
  • License our songs for film/TV
  • Plan a short summer tour
  • Do something that scares us
  • Do lots of things that scare us
  • Melt faces
  • Break hearts
  • Be musicians

Whatever 2018 may bring, we are resolved to rock it as hard as we can. We invite you to do the same.

Happy New Year!

Peace,

Mary & Dann
3@H

If You Could Move Anywhere…

At the end of 2016, as the election season was coming to a – to be honest, unanticipated – end, there was a lot of talk about moving. Google searches for “moving to Canada” skyrocketed. Ancestry dot com subscriptions increased, as people tried to figure out if they could claim European citizenship. Airfare websites were scoured for “get me out of here” ticket prices.

And this started me thinking. Not about the travesty that is the political and societal situation in America right now (there are about 14 or 15 blogs that we could write about THAT mess), but about the fact that when (not if) I win the lottery, my first purchase (after paying off my college loans, obviously) would be an apartment in Spain.

But would it?

I started thinking about travel, and vacation, and living somewhere else.

But would I?

Travel is wonderful. It allows people to come into contact with new thoughts, new situations, new people, new conversations, that they may never have experienced before. It allows people to have scary, unnerving, exciting, unexplained, wonderful interactions with people, places, and things. But it usually has an end. Can I really say, “I love Barcelona?” I mean, I’ve been there for three days. In three days I was able to see some of the highlights (and lowlights) of what the city has to offer. But I didn’t get the daily grind. I was on the Metro, but not at rush hour. I visited a school, but didn’t have to teach a class. I went out to restaurants and cafes and didn’t worry about bringing home food to make and serve at a dinner table. I wasn’t there when there were 1,000,000 people in the street protesting over governmental issues shutting down most of the city. It was like a dream. A fancy dream. Don’t get me wrong – it’s a dream I would love to have over and over again. But when it comes down to it, it was really only three days.

There is a huge gamble that comes with moving somewhere else. New neighbors, new jobs, and for some people, new school systems, new babysitters. Hell, for a lot of people just finding a new take out/delivery is a huge imposition and stress. I am in awe of people who can move from one place to another. People who have fallen in love with a place, or who want/need the “fresh start” make me incredibly jealous. I would love that opportunity. But where would I go? Where would I go that I could feel comfortable in daily life? Where could I find a good Irish pub? (RIP James’s Gate in Jamaica Plain) Where would I get groceries? What kind of groceries could/would I get? Who would I be friends with? Would there be places to play music? Would I need a car? What side of the road would I drive on?

And when it comes down to it, three days here in Boston can seem like four seconds or four years depending on what is going on that week. Maybe if I had been in Barcelona for a month, or two, or a year, and had to experience “regular life” instead of that whirlwind of joy, frustration, and excitement that comes when traveling, I would have a better grasp on the city. Would I still love it? Very possibly. I would start to see the cracks, and the concerns and issues would become a little clearer. But who knows – it might make me love it more.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m willing to take that chance, lottery gods.

Peace,

Dann