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Home > Blog > Hard-won wisdom
Out of Our Minds
Saturday, August 14, 2004 7:26 PM
Hard-won wisdom
Anita Sharpe on Life

Sometimes, working a dead-end job may be just the path you're supposed to be traveling.

Take singer Patty Griffin, who, at age 40, is just now attracting the kind of attention that leads to a big profile in the New York Times.

Until the mid-1990s, she was still working a series of tough, low-paying jobs as a waitress and switchboard operator. But she credits this prosaic work with inspiring many of her best songs. Just as important, those years gave her a sense of self that few, if any, teenage American Idols are likely to posses.

'I know what I value, what makes me happy,' she tells the Times. 'If I have the courage to remember that, I'll always have enough.'

I might not have read today's profile had I not gone last week to her 'Sweet Harmony Traveling Revue' show, where she performs with Emmylou Harris, Gillian Welch and others. Normally, I'm not much of a country music/bluegrass fan, but this was a fabulous concert -- one of the best I've seen in a long time. Don't miss it if it comes your way.




1 comment

lee - 8/16/2004 9:18:55 AM
I often wonder how 'advanced' our society really is. We try to control everything from our children (Mozart in utero and French for toddlers) to our yards (irrigation systems and garden plans). Perhaps in our efforts to control our lives we miss the serendipitous encounter which opens a new door or opportunity. My trek to Machu Picchu taught me that it is the journey not the destination and I think that is Griffin's point as well.

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