Last night I was lucky enough to be treated to The New Yorker Festival’s conversation with Lucinda Williams. I wasn’t her hugest fan, but appreciate her music and Southern heritage. Lucinda was being interviewed by Ariel Levy, who I am now equally infatuated with (more on that later). There wasn’t any wine being served, and after being at a 3-year-old’s birthday party in Long Island all day, I was a little afraid I was going to nod off. But, as soon as Lucinda came on stage, I was captivated by her laid back, content approach to the interview, and really, to recounting her life in general.
She didn’t really start pushing her music unapologetically until she was in her mid-thirties, didn’t get married until she was 50 (without a wedding in the South no less), and was wearing extremely chic black denim. Though she has had her share of hardship to wade through (her mother was mentally ill, both of her siblings currently are), a long list of failed dirtbag relationships (many who had ended in death), she never once positioned those experiences in an overly negative light. There wasn’t any need for pity, she didn’t make any excuses for her past. This was merely her life, and here she was, still creating, still penciling on black eyeliner.
As an unwed, creative, emotionally-exposed woman in her thirties, it was inspiring to see someone who has lived and was still living such a full life on her own terms. It was refreshing to listen to someone speak respectfully of her life, not operating on a societal timeline. A nice reminder that if you are lucky, there is a lot of life to be lived.
After the interview, Lucinda performed the song above—Side of the Road. She had to restart it three times because she was a little under the weather, which resulted in me on the verge of sobbing uncontrollably. I’m happy to report she is still rocking this hairdo in 2012.