Winter Of This Content

The pressure was off – the storm of the century barreling in and scheduled to hit right in time for my birthday. I was ready to embrace the nothingness, the world of white: roads closed, businesses closed. I’d already determined there are no restaurants north of Poughkeepsie open on Tuesday, so this solved the problem of what to do. We would hunker down. It would be fun, unless the power went out.

I felt like a kid waiting for snow day in the night. I kept peeking out the window expecting a dazzling snowglobe. Instead I kept seeing the same tire treads on the driveway. I’d treated myself to a new book from work, a bottle of bubbly, a chocolate bar. Eric had bought me a bottle too, and cooked a lamb casserole.

I would write, I would draw, I would play guitar. Watch movies. I went over the last several years of birthdays, and saw how I was often aimng high: there was Venice in 2008, Toulouse in 2009, back before I stopped having a credit card; the quest to find somewhere open to eat and the movie in an empty cinema in La Rochelle (2010). That awful gig in Angouleme where I had to argue with the owner to pay us what we’d agreed, she insisted we should have played three hours instead of two (doing gigs on your birthday can go a few different ways). Our first year in the US we were completely broke and stayed home eating pasta. The next year Eric’s daughter and granddaughter were visiting, we took them to the city and saw my daughter play when she still lived 1000 miles away. Last year it was bad coffee and getting recognized at Housing Works bookshop and a great Austrian meal on Ludlow Street – but we spent a fortune and I decided the next year we’d just have a great time somewhere up here.

I finally accept that having a birthday at the end of January sort of sucks, unless you live in Australia, because it’s always cold. Maybe that’s a major contributing factor to my personality – it is my birthright to be cranky!

I’m glad I’ve been keeping a blog for eight years now. As the years go faster and faster, because I’ve had so many of them, having it all written down helps me keep track of what happened.

Acceptance is a big part of adding another year to the pile. I see the anger and uncertainty in some of my older posts and think getting older is not a bad thing.


35 thoughts on “Winter Of This Content

  1. Steve Gibson

    Who’s getting older? You’re still young at heart!

    Birthdays can suck, due to their time of year. When I was a school kid I hated that mine came in the summer, while we were at our summer home, far away from friends, so no party. I got over it. I think …

  2. Charlie Bent-Marshall

    My birthday is Jan 1st so nobody wants to do anything and restaurants are all depressing as nobody in them as everyone is recovering from New Years Eve, and as a kid no birthday presents as everyone said the Christmas present covered the birthday too. Bah humbug.

  3. mick

    Happy birthday Amy. I suspect I was the one who offered you the French gig that was so ‘orrible… Méa maxima culpa as the Romans might once have said.
    Waiting for the snow is a little bit like waiting for Christmas – a childlike joy and it retains it’s magic even if one has to do grown-up things like going to work or doing the shopping. I see by the photo’s that you remain as pretty as ever despite the passing years. XX

    1. amyrigby

      Aww, no, that was the second time at Le Kennedy Mick so you can’t be held responsible, we knew what we were getting into (the first time was pretty wacky but fun as I recall), the lady was on her high horse that night! You are so sweet, miss our chats and your help in the garden.

  4. dinahmow

    You could move to northern Australia – it’s cyclone season!
    But you’re doing all the right things, with just enough wrongs for leavening. Happy birthday!

  5. Ellen Driscoll

    Dear Amy, you really do..
    you write well too…see you at your house party on saturday.
    I was introduced to your great music when I was lonely in Ireland trying to cough up
    some big drawings…in 2009…Steven, my fella…put me on to you.
    I got through the big drawings with your sounds in the room.
    thank you.

  6. Victoria Read

    Happy birthday (a bit late), Amy. I am really sorry we won’t be there Saturday, but Bruce’s gigs elsewhere are calling…. Someday, I hope!

  7. Ros and Ian.

    Many Happy Returns Amy ,thanks for keeping us posted ,we would love to come to one of your home shows ,maybe one day.Love Ros and Ian.X.

    1. amyrigby

      Wish you could’ve been there last night, Ian and Ros – what fun. And great food that everyone brought. A bit too crowded maybe but it seemed to add to the atmosphere…

  8. Andrea

    Happy birthday! I’m having a sick day not a snow day. A good time to make a pot of decaffeinated green tea and accompany my coughing and snuffling with some Amy cds. Cheers.

    1. longingforasong

      That’s a double negative, but I hope you get my point. You just have such a natural grace to your writing. I feel like you are sitting across from me talking and I haven’t heard your real voice in many years. It’s quite a gift. Are you going to turn this into a book? You should.

      1. amyrigby

        David, this prompted me to take a look at your blog which I’m sorry to say I have not done since you first started. I love reading about your youthful experiences – the Phil Ochs show layered with Mississippi was great, so well done. I really appreciate your comments! It has been years, hasn’t it?

    2. cellsumfrost

      Please publish a collection (off the internet) already! You know, one of those things people can hold in their hands- a BOOK. Then you can do book tours (for any occasion)!

      1. amyrigby

        A collection sounds great – you mean like where I’ve done the work already and just have to compile, edit and slap a cool cover on there? What am I waiting for?

  9. bousvaros

    Stuck in the office, doing paperwork, and decided to check on this blog for the first time in months. My wife’s at home watching our dog, and son out with his friends. For some reason, having “Middlescence” playing in the background is making the work go down easier. After this album’s over, it’s back to Art Blakey and the Jazz messengers. I hope you two come back to Johnny D’s soon. Upstate NY is too far away!

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