Who are you? What do you do for a living?
I'm Laura Burhenn and I have a band called The Mynabirds. I do that for a living, and I sometimes play in other people's bands. I toured with the Postal Service last year and Bright Eyes in 2011. These days I'm kind of a professional gypsy, having driven across America twice in the process of writing my latest Mynabirds record. Right now I'm en route to Nashville from Los Angeles. Go where the wild road leads, you know?
Does Sunday begin with a precursor?
I think of Sundays like the metaphoric calm after the storm. Being a musician, this day can happen any day of the week. And having grown up (and grown away from) a very conservative Christian upbringing where Sundays meant two church services and at least one person speaking in tongues, my "Sundays" do contain a new sort of reverence for the little things. So a typical "Sunday" precursor is probably pretty whiskey-soaked from a good "Saturday" night, just appreciating the grandness of the universe and just the fact that I get to live in it for a bit.
Where are you on a Sunday morning? What's the first thing you see?
This depends. But waking up in my own bed is probably the best way to start a Sunday. Waking up with the sun even though I could sleep til noon. There's something about not squandering a Sunday, even if all you do is lay awake for it or wander down to make coffee in your pjs (or the dress you've slept in from the night before). So the first thing I see is the sun and the light, which is the reminder that you can be home anywhere -- even when I'm not actually in my own bed.
What's the first thing you do?
Appreciate the light. Really. Sundays are for appreciating. Even the ache in my brain, contemplating my consciousness and all the dream fragments I might be able to piece together. Stillness is a beautiful thing. And Sunday is for stillness.
What do you consider breakfast?
Sunday must have brunch. In my perfect world, I'm cooking it for friends. Frittata, coffee with cream, curried sweet potatoes in a cast iron skillet, toast made of fresh bread from the local bakery, lots of butter, vinyl on the record player, and everyone half asleep and slowly waking up together over good memories from whatever we did the night before or the big questions that keep us awake at night. Good conversation is definitely on the table.
Do you prefer company on your day off, or is it more of a day for solitary reset?
I prefer good friends around a table, my dog on a walk through the woods. Some of my best friends and I in Omaha did this thing called "Oprah Brunch" for awhile on Sundays where we had pot luck brunch and mimosas and watched the "Best of Oprah" DVDs. Talk about catharsis.
Haha. Woah, can I steal that? What kinds of things do you do now, that are only reserved for Sundays?
I love to do nothing really and yet also whatever my heart desires. I love to be quiet and listen. Really, I keep coming back to this idea of stillness when I think about Sunday. There's something so Zen and meditative about a good Sunday. It's like a hungover Wallace Stevens poem or something.
If you could sum it up, what are the major distinctions between a weekend and a weekday? (or, what kinds of things do you end up only doing on a weekend?)
Again, stillness. Taking time to explore and listen and create with no expectations or end point in mind. It's really hard to let yourself do that, but I think that's what a good Sunday is for. And yeah, as a musician, my weekdays have a whole lotta late nights in them. So a weekend could involve falling asleep on the couch by 11 watching 30 Rock.
What's the perfect end to a weekend?
Pizza. I got in this habit over the past few years that Sunday night is pizza night. This means pizza on the couch and a good film. There's usually ice cream after, too. Basically, Sundays are for over-eating and just generally indulging.
All photos taken by Laura on her instagram @laurabird