Listening Lab: Over the Rhine

There’s a song called “The Laugh of Recognition” on an album called The Long Surrender which is the latest release in the 20-year career of the husband-and-wife duo from southern Ohio called Over the Rhine. I love them. Karin Bergquist says this on the band’s website of the new album’s title: It speaks to our ongoing desire to let go of certain expectations (and much of what we are so convinced we know for sure) in favor of remaining open and curious. It seems like many of our friends are currently wrestling with various forms of ‘letting go,’ so hopefully the ideas conjured by the title feel somewhat universal. And I think the title speaks to the arc of a lifelong commitment to writing and performing regardless of recognition. Learning when to work hard and when to let go. Learning to leave room for grace to billow our sails occasionally. Learning not to white-knuckle everything.

Here’s to mystery, and tenacity, and the knowledge that wide eyes and wisdom aren’t mutually exclusive.

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