Melissa asks me regularly, “Did you moisturize?” And in Massachusetts February, you don’t need to respond for the answer to be apparent.

I’ve been to dermatologist appointments only to discover my knees looked like ostrich skin downwind of a dying campfire; you have to put lotion on that?

I’m the same with face grooming/stray hair management. 

I posted a recent YouTube video, and a very kind commenter remarked they couldn’t keep watching because of the sunlight illuminating a prominent nose hair. (I take my first light troll as a sign that I’ve been more consistent on my YouTube game. ✊)

I do fall off the nose hair trim train on a regular basis, and Melissa’s keen eye and brow kit are the only things preventing my super-occular blonde caterpillars from merging into unified crazy professor forehead larvae.

Other personal grooming infractions: mirror-free shower shaving (always neck patches left), stray side fliers from self-administered haircuts, and perpetually crusty knuckles through the New England winter.

I’m proud to report I’m a member of the Habitual Flosser Society, though. (The hygiene practice AND the dance.) My gums are popping.

Melissa and I were talking at bedtime about how funny it is that we have bodies.

While I deeply enjoy the physical world and much of what it entails — singing, hugs, and cheeseburgers come to mind — the things I heard my parents and grandparents say about aging are showing up in my experience.

You notice changes in your hands, lines on your face that stay after you smile, or your photo app shows you a video from 10 years ago, and you’re like, “Hmmmm, I had a pretty abundant amount of energy then.”

You watch physical changes happen while the you you’ve always known stays inside there.

My great grandma Allie said she still felt like she was her 16-year-old self trying to see out of eyes that had begun to fail her.

When we’re younger, we’re prone to fuse our inner awareness with our outer presentation, or at least depend on/blame it. As the body changes and telomeres shorten, we may start to get a clue that one of these things is not like the other.

On the other side of this existential pancake, I’m getting more clued in to how teeny and limited I am.

The essential me senses endless possibility and eternal opportunity. Then I notice I’m in a body that can only be in one location doing one thing at a time. (Still haven’t perfected my Hermione Granger Quantum Time Turner — I’d be dangerous with that.) I’m limited. 

So, there must be value and precious learning in this small, boundaried life. 

We know that terrific creativity flourishes inside a clear frame — a 14-line sonnet, a 3-act structure, a 1-2-3 punchline setup.

And if this is true, no wonder we all get a smidge cuckoo the more information, opinion, and comparison flies our way.

To acknowledge your beautiful teeny-ness, you have to let the fact itself in, and then you have to de-select all the sideshow noise jangling around you — usually from that little rectangle most of us are carrying around these days.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my dad lately. He died two years ago this month, and as I drove to school last Saturday for program auditions, I got a deep sense that he was cheering me on and maybe pulling some heavenly strings.

Melissa had a dream where he showed up recently. She said it was like he rode in on the frequency of whatever dream she was having and invited her to another channel. He brought her into a white waiting room, and my mom and I were there, too; we all sat together. He held my face in his hands and said, “I’m so proud of you.” His beard was white and trimmed, and he’d been making a lot of jokes with my papa Basil (Mama’s dad).

I’ve been blessed with dream-visits from folks who’ve moved on before me. (Papa’s shown up a few times. One time he said, “I’m so glad you came across the pond to see me.” Another time, he poked his head through while I was jogging and told me not to name Noah after him. “Don’t call him Basil,” he said :))

I believe our people are near and experiencing the limitless possibility I feel bouncing inside my rib bones.

So, here my soul sits inviting your soul to come visit with me and take a moment to remember who we are. (This is also what happens with good song sharing.)

My earth uniform needs moisturizing and stray hair trimming according to 2024 western grooming standards, but my soul is sparkly splendiferous. Yours, too.

And I believe if you let yourself listen and know in the way you know you listen and know, you’ll hear what your unlimited self wants to do inside this very limited and beautiful blink of an eye we call a life span.

For me, I know one thing I came here to do is to sing, and I mean to focus a good amount of attention on it. If I can make one person’s life better with a song or an email, I believe it ripples out forever.

You, too. You have no idea how significant a smile in the trail mix aisle at Trader Joe’s can be.

I do know this: There’s only one you, the you that transcends your fingers, eyes, and hair, the you who knows and re-members, only one. And you’ll leave folks better when they hear the song only you can sing.

Love much,


PS Here’s that video with the nose hair