I blush to admit that I had not even heard of Tift Merritt, but after hearing the interview this morning on my morning walk, I feel as if I know her well – she talked about, among other things, how she fears the complexity and glitz of contemporary society tries to be a seductive distraction from meaningfulness – everything she said resonated with me. Merritt’s latest album is called Traveling Alone. The title, she told NPR’s David Greene, speaks to the value of being self-sustaining:
“I think, at the end of the day, I have an outsider’s heart,” Merritt says. “You always hope that you’re going to find that place where you belong — you know, you follow the map or the playbook that everyone in the world seems to have, or understand, and you will arrive at the place where things make sense. And I think … that’s a little naive, and that you have to build that place yourself. And that’s a lonely thing to realize, but also an exciting one.”
Coincidentally, my teaching assistant, Claire Afflerbach, asked me last night to look at some of the photos she took while studying in New Zealand – I think this one is a perfect companion for Tift Merritt’s comments. Beautiful work, Claire.
|Photo by Claire Afflerbach