Evolution of an Insult

Have you ever been called a groupie? I think the closest I ever came to being a groupie was during my Madonna-wannabe phase (yes, I went through it), or maybe my Siouxie Sioux phase (I was a goth, too, though I recall I smiled way too much to pull it off well). In either of those phases, I would still be able to keep my cool if either woman was in my presence. At my first concert, when I was eleven, I’ll admit, I did scream at a pre-concert Simon LeBon sighting – who knows what would have happened if I was able to see him without binoculars. Going back further, when I was six, I risked being shocked by the television with my daily kissing of the TV screen when Davy and Mike would appear on the Monkees re-runs. Besides that, I’ve never done anything “crazy” or even remotely pushy to try to be in the presence of a “star”.

Last week I was told that a couple of women who don’t know me said I look like a “Matagi Sorensen groupie” on the internet. Stupid and meaningless as that is, I got really mad. I imagined these catty women going, “Who is this Holly chick anyway?” and then just making shit up. Who cares?? I know I shouldn’t care, but my mind went right to junior high school and all the mean shit I endured there – not to mention dealing with my sisters at home. Also, work has had that vibe lately, too, where there is a lot of gossip and downright meanness from some co-workers. It just felt raw.

(And damn, if I’m going to be a groupie, I’d better be able to write a book about it!! I don’t think I could top I’m with the Band: Confessions of a Groupie by Pamela Des Barres. From babysitter for Frank Zappa’s kids, to a GTO, to girlfriend of one of the guys in Led Zeppelin . . . whew, what a life!!)

I didn’t get the details of the conversation – I was told second-hand. I imagined everyone in the conversation had a chuckle. If they actually looked up my connection with Matagi they’d see that I am his photographer and his web designer. Not that hard to figure out. It’s also not that unusual for artist couples to work together. That we are a couple shouldn’t be that hard to figure out either.

The Halfbreeds - Jennifer Haskins, S. Frog, Jamey Evans, Francis Cricket, Holly Troy. Photo by Jennifer Haskins.
The Halfbreeds – Jennifer Haskins, S. Frog, Jamey Evans, Francis Cricket, Holly Troy. Photo by Jennifer Haskins.

It’s also not that unusual for artist couples to work together. Perhaps that’s one of the things that bugs me. Publicly, Matagi and I don’t work together. I went from being front person to bands as well as artist and writer, to someone more subdued and behind the scenes – even a supporter. As a performer, for most of my music career, I worked with my partners publicly.

I realize I miss that, that partner work, as well as the thrill of being center stage. I also realize I miss working for something that seemed larger than myself. I get glimpses of that larger than myself feeling when I practice reiki; it’s an amazing feeling.

On the bright side, the desire in me for public work and public recognition is still there. I say “bright side” because I feel incredibly alive when I am performing – and if there is still desire, then I can make it happen. On the dark side, my cutting inner critic says being called a groupie means you are no longer a star. I’ve been laying low for too long. Ouch. Oh, the duality.

The silliness of all of this! Who the heck is Matagi Sorensen*? Who the heck am I? If there is one thing I know from growing up in a small town – fame is relative. From being a musician in NYC – fame is relative. From dating an Olympic cyclist – fame is relative. We are all just little blips in the cycle of time. We show up, and then we’re gone. We come and we go.

Makes me think, We are stardust, we are golden . . . I’ve just been spending some time in the garden. (Actually, I’d like to spend more time in the community garden).

While I was “out there” publicly, I was putting out a lot of creative energy – sort of like a creative exhale. I’ve been on the inhale for a very long time now, observing and taking things in. I feel like now I am in that space between the inhale and the exhale, in fact, holding my breath for a little bit just to see what might happen. While I’m in the stillness in the space between inhale and exhale, Matagi is on the exhale – and his exhale has just begun. Like breathing, creative rhythms are uniquely our own.

It’s time for me to exhale.

Woodstock – Joni Mitchell

*Matagi Sorensen is a jewelry designer and printmaker who is very good at what he does and who works constantly at his art. It has been amazing to be witness to see leaps in his creative evolution over the last couple of years. He is definitely worth watching. You can see his work at Sorensen Silver Fine Art.