Sunday, July 12, 2009

Hypothetically Speaking

Late this afternoon I awoke from a nap with heave eyelids. Visions of Provo Canyon danced in my head and the fresh air of the Falls was calling my name. Poking my head out of my bedroom, I called the crew's attention and ordered them to put their shoes on and pile in the car: "We're going to Bridal Veil!"

Along the trail to Bridal Veil Falls, the smell of sweet Pine and barbecue invigorated my groggy senses. The boys, waded through the runoff and smeared wet clay all over their bodies. I love a dirty little boy.

On the drive home the conversation went something like this:

Thatcher: "Mom, would you rather eat a banana slug whole without chewing it or eat Boss's tongue?"

Me: "Banana slug."

Jackson: "Mom, would you rather have belly buttons for eyes or an eye for your belly button?"

Me: "Belly buttons for eyes."

Thatcher: "Mom, would you rather keep me or Jackson?"

Me: "Thatch, that's not a fair question."

Jackson: "Thatcher, would you rather keep Mom or Dad?"

Thatcher: "MOM!"

Glediator: (rolls eyes).

And the conversation continued in this manner until we pulled into the driveway.

For the last few years of my career, my life has been a series of difficult hypothetical questions:

Mindy would you rather be a Deseret Book artist or an independent artist? Independent.

Mindy would you rather be a country artist or an independent artist? After a short stint in Nashville, I concluded: Independent.

Mindy would you rather be a signed female duo or an independent artist? After a sixty day trial, I concluded yet again: Independent.

And after two more offers to be a country artist, it was an easy: INDEPENDENT!

At times I have wondered if I am ungrateful for passing up generous opportunities. Could those opportunities have opened doors to the musical path I really want? But as I stood in the sound booth of a Nashville recording studio a few years ago, I felt miserable and resolved that I would rather stick a dull butter knife through my eyeball than sing country music for a career (no offense to all you country music lovers).

It just feels wrong for me to do anything that does not resonate with my authentic self. I am incredibly sensitive to it. At times this trait makes me feel like I'm floundering, trying to find my way as I reach for what feels authentic. And right now, I am really reaching. However, when I settle for what I think my audience wants to hear, I'm not writing from an authentic space, and my work falls short. Make sense?

When I released "Feather in the Wind," one review cautioned:

"This album is horrible! Don't waste your money unless you have money to throw around!"

Another accused, "Some songs here seem to be attempting to be everyone else in CCM."

Dang, I wasn't even going for CCM with that album. But it just doesn't matter. I refuse to write for my critics.

SO, the moral of these ramblings is: Hypothetically speaking, if I had to be what everyone else expected me to be OR choose to be who I am regardless of anyone's approval, I would pick the latter.


  1. I'm a firm believer in the "You've got to do what makes you happy" school of thought. You are incredibly amazing no matter what you do. Keep it up. :)

  2. Mindy, I love reading your blog, and never comment here, but today I just have to say something. When I got to the end of this post and read what some of your critics had to say about "Feather In the Wind" it made my stomach churn because I love that album so much. I am thrilled that you will remain independent because that means you can make more of the great music that you've been offering us. I wouldn't change a thing about you and your music, and I am anxiously looking forward to a new album!

  3. I whole heartedly agree with Marilyn. Don't change a thing! Stay true to yourself. That's what we all love about you! You are one of a kind!

  4. Although I am not a songwriter, I do sing. A unique sound is what sets you apart. And I agree 100% that if you try to please others, it limits the flashes of brilliance and inspiration that try to pop out. So it sounds like you don't really need approval from any of us bloggers, but keep up the good work!

  5. Liz, thank you!

    Marylin, I'm so glad you decidedto comment today. Thank you for your words of support :-)

    Becky, you win the award for "most faithful comment leaver." I love your notes!

    Stephers, you are new too. Thank you for taking the time to comment.

  6. Everything you said here is why I love your music. It is REAL, not something you fabricate to fit some pre-set mold somewhere. Just keep being you, Mindy - THAT is what sets you apart and (in my opinion) will ultimately get you where you want to be.

  7. Good for you Mindy, we love you just the way you are. and to be honest, I don't think God would want you any other way either.

    PS. We sure miss those silly boys of yours!

  8. I am so happy that you make the music they way you feel you need to. It speaks to me. My tastes are very limited. I don't much like most LDS artists, unless they are doing instrumental hymns. I don't really care for country. I have an eclectic taste for american euro pop (is there such a thing?) like the Ocean Blue, or Innocence Mission, or Trash Can Sinatras (but they aren't american)... anywho, you are ranked right up there with the best of them in my book.
    And by the way, your blog is really great. It really makes me smile.

  9. Mindy, I love your music! I remember when we were in Madrid, in Cuatro Caminos I belive, in a fireside, and the speaker said that you were an example because you share your talent with others, and through singing you help others to feel better. That's what you do! I love listening to your music, and your voice is really special. Last night I dreamt that you came to Spain to sing in my ward to help the members to be uplifted. That's what you do with your music!!!

  10. Wow, I loved "Feather in the Wind"!!!!!!


  11. We went to BV Falls today. It was beautiful, majestic and cooling. And my brilliant little Jack threw a giant rock at some lady.

    "Feathers in the Wind" is brilliant and those commenters aren't