2020 is the year that I, truly and completely, learned. Finally. I hope. That things not turning out the way I had planned, is the most glorious part of the ride.

This year, my heart has been cracked wide open. By the customers I have talked to from the drive-thru window at Starbucks after they could no longer come into the café. And by the family and friends who helped sew me back together as grief tore me apart.

2020, I will remember you with gratitude for all that you have taught me about the act of living. …

Today will forever mark the day in my mind when both the vaccine, and my band’s pandemic song were ready for release. I am feeling hopeful again. For creativity. And for my mom.

I started writing “Howl” on the evening of April 4th, 2020. In my living room. Alone with my guitar. It had been a beautiful day in Denver. A high of fifty-nine degrees and a low of nineteen. The first flower had bloomed on the phlox I had planted in my yard the summer before.

I took a perfect hike that day. Sunshine on my face was a great relief after a few days of snow and cold.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg Knew Name Calling is Not Okay

I am not Karen, but I am Karen’s ugly stepsister. I am female. I am white. And I have asked to speak to the manager. I don’t drink the pumpkin spice latte, but only because it is too sweet for me. I do, however, serve the pumpkin spice latte. Five days a week. For four hours a day. And nothing has given me more insight into our cultural moments than this one job: working as a barista at Starbucks. I have served drinks to my diverse community throughout this epically challenging…

A Story of Racial Anxiety and How My Husband and I Powered the Speakers at the Denver Black Lives Matter Protest

The microphone for the speakers at the Denver protest against racial violence.

I am a woman. I know what it is to not feel heard. And as a person with a lifelong hearing impairment, I also know how it feels to struggle to hear. So when my husband and I brought a sound system and microphone to the people who were speaking at the protests against racial violence in Denver, my heart filled with a unique type of joy that comes not only from amplifying too silent voices, but also from healing a small part inside of me. But joy is not all that I felt.

I have had the rare privilege…

Social distancing is my thing. At least it was up until a year ago. Now social distancing is everyone’s thing. Except mine. Now, I am essential.

Before COVID-19, when people at social gatherings asked me what I did, I often responded with a question, “My chosen profession, or the one that makes me money?” For the answer to one, I explained that I am an artist; in a band; and mother to two teenage boys. For the other, I explained that I manage the bookings for our vacation rental in Mexico and am the administrator for our design and build…

Joe Biden’s not perfect. But still, I have to admit, Biden has been my guy for a while. He stole my heart in his speech on Super Tuesday. With that big honest expression of emotion. You can’t fake that kind of happy. The way his teeth took up most of his face when he said, “We are still alive.”

I would have preferred our next president be a woman. But I realized then and there that after all that has happened in this wounded country of ours, I needed it to be a man: a gentle man.

I am of…

Meagen Svendsen

Denver-based artist, mom, singer-songwriter, and nature-freak

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