Farewell, Tom Petty – And the Loss of a Self

Some readers of this site know well that I am a big fan of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. By big fan, I mean that I have traveled halfway across the country for a concert; I have seen them from the front row several times; I have seen them up to 6 times on the same tour; and I have been to over 30 shows.

You might wonder why. The music speaks to me, and always has. It’s the music of regular people, getting through a regular life, with regular troubles, sung by a man who seemed like a regular guy. And TPATH, in concert, has this amazingly obvious love for the music, the fans, and each other. It’s joyful, even when the song is sad.

On top of that, they are such incredible musicians. If you have never really listened to them, you should. Tom Petty vocals; a Mike Campbell guitar solo; Benmont Tench ripping it up on the piano; Steve Ferrone pounding out a fierce beat; Ron Blair cool as a cucumber while holding it down; and Scott Thurston doing all the things.

So, the loss of Tom Petty this week feels like a punch in the gut. It feels unreal and awful. It feels unfair. I try to take a Buddhist perspective on death, but there is no denying the pain of people left behind. I feel so very sad for his family, his friends, his bandmates and their families.

On Tuesday, I realized that I also felt a sense of loss of a part of myself. I’ve been the “lady in red” and then the “bald lady in red” at Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers shows for almost two decades now. I’ve had discussions with the crew, gotten drumsticks and picks from the band, and had playlists handed to me. Various members of the Heartbreakers have acknowledged my presence at shows in ways that were kind and funny. And there are other fans who would come up to me and say “hey, aren’t you Yersobad?” (another name in the cyber world). And now, that is gone.

I don’t think I am alone in having my love for a band be part of who I am. When the work of musicians really speaks to us, and gives us access to something inside that feels powerful, and particularly when a musician or group is able to do that consistently, our understanding of self as a fan or a lover of that band becomes a piece of who we are.

I know that I will never follow another band in the way that I followed TPATH (literally and theoretically). I won’t invest time and money and my identity in another band in the same way. A door has been closed and a chapter of my life has ended. I knew it would eventually, but I wasn’t quite ready yet.

But, I am grateful for the music. I’m grateful for the shows. I know that I’m lucky to have seen them so many times and from so close. I’m glad to have been the bald lady in the red dress. But, I’ll miss that me, I’ll miss them, and I’ll miss Tom

Sloppy Lennys and Coleslaw – A Vegan Yum

Do you remember sloppy joes? Did you mom make them, as mine did, or do you remember them from school lunch? I loved the sauce on my mother’s sloppy joes, though even then I didn’t like the texture or idea of the beef. Now, I can have the sauce yum without the meat gag.

For a rainy Memorial Day lunch, we cooked up some Sloppy Lennys and made a crunchy vegan coleslaw to go with it, along with chips and fruit. Delicious!

Sloppy Lennys

Ingredients

1 lb dry lentils
Water or broth to cook lentils
2 T olive oil
1 large onion – diced
1 red or green pepper – diced
2 cloves garlic – minced
1 can tomato paste
2 cups tomato puree or sauce
1 t worcestershire sauce
1 t liquid smoke
1 T chili powder
1 t smoked paprika
1 t hot sauce of your choice
2 T balsamic vinegar
3-5 T molasses, agave, or maple syrup
Sea salt to taste

Process

Cook lentils by covering in water or broth (about 1 inch higher than lentils), bringing to boil, and letting boil gently for 15-20 minutes. They should still be al dente. Save broth/water when you drain them.

Saute onions, peppers, and garlic in olive oil. Add remaining ingredients (not lentils yet) and mix well. Simmer 5 minutes. Add lentils. As they finish cooking, you will need to add the vegetable broth/water to maintain the level of sauciness you would like.

When lentils are cooked to your desired tenderness, serve on buns or bread.

 

Vegan Coleslaw

Ingredients

4 cups shredded green and red cabbage
1 cup shredded carrots
Diced onion if desired
2 cups vegan mayo
2 T apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Process

Mix ingredients above. Refrigerate several hours or (preferably) overnight. Serve beside, or on, sloppy lennys!

Life Takes Over!

So, dear readers, as you can tell, I have fallen WAY behind. This is a factor of a change in jobs last summer that keeps me even busier (didn’t think it was possible), living away from my family 4+ days a week (so not cooking), and sheer exhaustion.

However, I have been fairly active on Instagram and Twitter, so if you aren’t already following me there, you can (TheVeganAsana on both).

In yoga news, I’m still trying to practice 5-6 days a week, though often for a somewhat shorter time period. I struggled with trying to move my practice to mornings and it wasn’t very successful. RA presents obstacles there. So, it’s evening practice either alone or with an online video. Lately, I’ve been using videos from Fightmaster Yoga, though I’m always happy to hear about your favorites!

In food news, I’m not doing much cooking, but have been mostly eating salads, as that’s an easy meal for just me. But, I will put in a plug for a Philadelphia restaurant that I am loving to visit when I can. If you have not been to The Tasty, and you are a vegan in Philly, you should go!  It’s not the place to drop by if you are looking for a super nutritious meal, but if you want diner style comfort food that is vegan, it rocks. And the coffees are superb.

In life news, I’m using my paper planner (Filofax) as a creative outlet, by combining elements of bullet journaling and planning. Sometimes, I wonder if the pages are a little too cute for using in the office. Other times, I don’t care even a little.   This week, with only part of the Monday stuff added…  If you enjoy planner or bujo layouts, those tend to show up with some frequency on my Instagram feed.

I’m hoping that I can remember to post more, and that my author friend – Emmeline – will also post now and then. But, until next time, namaste!