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Tuesday, 13 May 2008

A Heavy Brow

Sitting at a hotel bar in Edinburgh, gazing out the window at a castle on a green covered mountain. The best part is I’m not playing music in this hotel bar, stuffed in a corner pumping out tunes. No I’m just sitting here, sipping on a Kronenburg, occasionally glancing at my very cute Scottish bartender. I can’t believe the way people talk here. I find the accent welcoming, soothing. Everyone smiles and seems chilled out, not like New York or London for that matter. I’ve long dreamt of a place where I could live out my days, cool my fiery nerves next to a beautiful dame, breath fresh air in the countryside, but not too country; I am a serious city boy, need my delicatessen fix. In my first 12 hours, Edinburgh is making a strong case. Who knows, maybe I’m ordering drinks from my future bride? I’m here a day early, awaiting another two week stint with the lovely Amy Macdonald, which starts in her native Scotland, winds its way through the UK, and winds up in yet another lush paradise, Ireland. It’s nice to be traveling, especially with all the madness going on in the world. It’s a strange place to be: living out my dream while so many people on Earth are experiencing a nightmare. Right now I’m smack dab in the midst of the first promo blitz, running in and out of radio stations, grinning my grin, spreading the JV gospel. And all the while I have these images burned in the back of my mind of people being pulled from rubble, thousands need deep in refuse and the remnants of their villages. I try to stay positive, but it’s tough proposition. I lie in my hotel room and flip through channels of British newscasters forecasting doom and gloom, with even bleaker headlines scrolling across the bottom of the screen. Another person stabbed in Oxford Circus. Estimated death totals rise again. I have to ask myself what am I doing here? Shouldn’t I be helping? I’m sitting on my bed chewing a club sandwich, sick with paralysis. How can I make the situation better? It’s not like I can hop a flight to Burma and join a 24-hour relief team. They wouldn’t even let me in the country. Why do these disasters happen in the most cut-off, totalitarian countries? It’s heartbreaking to see people in need of help and not getting it. It makes me grateful that the ones I love and care for are happy and healthy. If anyone knows of ways to help, please lemme know, be it donations, writing a song, anything. Right now, I’m dealing with it by throwing myself into every interaction with extra abandon, letting people I’m around know how fortunate I am, that we are to be here and now.


margaret in manhattan said...

sweetie, great post - we're here on the other side of the pond, healthy and alive, and feeling the same kind of pain ...

but don't worry, do what you're doing, and keep on doing it!


rlnichol said...

Hey JV- from a very scottish girl-its good to have you in Edinburgh- Seen you play tonight at Queens hall with Amy-you were great-and very funny- keep on with it :) Plus...the volcano isn't actually active-so New York really isn't missing much!Have fun touring!