The Natchez Trace

June 29, 2018

The house was sold. Two of the three cars were sold. More than half of our stuff was either sent to the dump, the curb, neighbors, or sold on Craigslist. Now we were driving south from NY to our new home in New Orleans. We spent a few nights in Nashville at Mary's brother's house and had a real good visit there. We spent some time in Muscle Shoals doing studio I can check that off my bucket list now. Took our time the next day spending the night in Tupelo, birthplace of Elvis.

Mary and I had been having some tension the whole drive cuz I wanted to take my time, which is why we were taking the Natchez Trace with its 50 mile an hour speed limit winding through country and trees. She just wanted to get there. We had stopped off on a Scenic Overlook in the late afternoon and it was time to decide if we were going to spend another night on the road, or just hit the gas and get right into New Orleans. Mary sat over on a picnic table and I walked around for a bit following my breath and soaking in the Southern heat. It really became clear to me that Mary was anxious to get there because she had a job interview on Friday and I was apprehensive cuz I didn't know what I was going to do when I first got there.

We got in the car and started driving again.

Mary was driving. As I pondered my apprehension I saw it was quite a deeper feeling than I had understood. I was terrified to get to New Orleans. Terrified because I had no idea what the f*** I was going to do the next day after I got there--trying to get this show together, meeting people, finding studios, venues etc etc. It all seemed like some cockamamie scheme. And I actually still have to finish writing the show, which needs a lot more work. We talked it out for a few minutes and there wasn't much left to say. I felt lost.

Mary's phone was plugged in and I hit Spotify on one of her playlists, which I rarely--actually never--listen to. The song that started playing was Dreamer by the Isbell's.  Not a song I would ever seek out, but as we drifted through the Natchez trees it began singing right to my soul. It was a profound and holy moment. Every line of this song was singing right to me. The chorus goes... “ your prayers will be heard the moment you start believing”  I could see there was a whole other level of faith that was available to me. And if I was ever going to get anywhere I’d need to tap into daily. Nothing will happen by accident. I am being carried.

Once again on this journey the ancestors and the Holy Spirit made their presence known to me like a knock on the head. This was a direct call on The Red Phone. One of many many many on this journey.

Now here in New Orleans and I have my first meetings set up. Playing and writing while looking out at the bayou from our living room and screen porch.  Mary's out on a job interview right now and today is just another ordinary day to wake up and do all the little things that need to be done.

Chop wood. Carry water.

gregg hill