On this Eleventh day of the Eleveniest Year of our Lives:

January 12th, 2011

Do you remember when we used to say goodbye?
When we would hold together the things we loved – some stale, still and dead – we would balance them on our outstretched palms and watch as the wind picked them up and whipped them back to life, far beyond the range of our vision and perhaps, by some unfathomable grace, still within the reach of our fingers.

I remember. And I’ve missed it.

I’m going to be taking a break, perhaps a very long one. I’ve never loved my life more than I do right now, but the voice I trust above all others has been whispering to me again for the first time in years, and a couple months back, I made a promise to the moon (and the moon, I believe, made a promise back to me.)

After November 11th of this year, I’m going to stop touring for at while. At least a year, perhaps longer. Not because I’m sick of what I do (I can’t dream of a more blessed way to witness this world) but because I trust that voice, and because I have made a promise to the moon.

Before I go, I’ll be playing a lot of shows.

In the next eleven months, I’m traveling almost everywhere I’ve ever played before, all over North America and Europe and visiting New Zealand, Australia, Mexico and Russia. I’ll also be doing a number of small, special events near my hometown of Seattle. The year will end with a West Coast tour around Halloween with friends and a big final concert (with even more friends) on November 11th at the Moore Theater in Seattle.

Details and dates will all be posted soon. I’ll try to avoid spamming this list too much, so if you care to keep up with the minutia of my life and movements, please follow/like me in one of these places:

http://www.twitter.com/jasonwebley

http://www.facebook.com/jasonwebley

Or, just keep your ear to the ground…

It would be a shame to end this note with Twitter and Facebook links. So I’ll leave you with a poem, actually more of a prayer, that I read at the wedding ceremony which kicked off this eleveny year for me:

i thank You God for most this amazing
day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,

and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birth
day of life and love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any – lifted from the no

of all nothing – human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

-e.e. cummings

If the rest of this year proves to be anything like these first eleven days have been, I’m in for quite a ride. I hope to see you on it out there somewhere.
-Jason

Blog #1 – Evelyn

February 17th, 2010

I’m not normally one to twitter much, or to blog ever.
But the wave of negative attention that the Evelyn Evelyn project* has recently invited has got me troubled enough…  that I’ve decided to start a blog.

So, I figure this goes without saying – but I want to say it here very clearly all the same – offending or belittling disabled people or people who have a history of sexual abuse could not be farther from my intention.

I mean, I generally don’t like to offend and belittle ANYONE, but if there is anybody that I especially don’t want to alienate with this project, it is the people who might already feel marginalized and dismissed in our society.  Especially when that type of alienation is a major recurring theme throughout the whole Evelyn Evelyn record.

After thinking about this a lot, I accept that aspects of this project might be seen as insensitive.  To be honest, I never really thought that this could be construed as making fun of people with disabilities.  I had some fear that the few conjoined twins living in the world might find the project offensive.  But I hoped this wouldn’t be the case, as I have nothing but respect for the remarkable people who have this very rare condition.  I’ve spent a lot of time absorbing writings by and about historical conjoined twins, especially those who had lives in show business (such as Daisy and Violet Hilton, Millie and Christine McCoy, and Chang and Eng Bunker.)

I am still hopeful that the original spirit of this project can burn through all of this.
Our intention was to capture people’s imaginations, to create some fun new music, and to twist people’s brains a bit…  not to stir up a storm, or disrespect anybody.

I’ve spent the past 36 hours doing almost nothing but thinking about this.  I’ve been trying to follow everything that has been posted on the topic, and communicating with various people involved.  I am very grateful to everyone inside and outside of the project for their thoughtful feedback, and I want to especially thank Neil Gaiman for his patience and advice and Annaham for her very well articulated criticism.

I’m very willing to look at ways we can change the way we promote and talk about this.  I still think the album and the stage show stand on there own, and hope that the way people will experience them hasn’t been poisoned.

As to rumors that Amanda and I are, in fact, the twins Evelyn and Evelyn, I’m not able to comment on that just yet – but I will point out that on the recordings that have been released so far, one of the twins has a conspicuously deep voice for a 24 year old girl.  And my beard disappeared suspiciously near the time that the twins’ press photos were taken…

I’ll finish this by saying that while it does ake me pretty  sad to see so many people so upset about something I’m involved in, I am truly glad to see that it has inspired a lot of good, smart, heartful discussion.

Ok.  That’s enough blogging.
Hopefully this won’t become a habit.  I hear it is addictive.

Respectfully,
-Jason Webley, the (relatively) silent half, of Evelyn Evelyn.

ps.  I know that Amanda is working on her own follow up to her last blog on the subject.  She is far away in Australia and communication hasn’t been easy, but I am sure you will be able to hear from her soon!

* for those who don’t know, Amanda Palmer and I have been working for the past three years to “produce” a record by the conjoined twin sisters “Evelyn Evelyn”.  The record is to finally be released at the end of next month, and is being accompanied by a world tour with Amanda and myself supporting the “twins.”