A Bella Reunion in Bend


I recently had the pleasure of playing, for the second time during the pandemic, the Crater Lake Spirits Tasting Room in Downtown Bend, OR. It was a lovely evening where I made new friends with some of the patrons and got to sing my heart out to and with them and to the folks passing by. Talk about the power of song to sooth and heal the soul. Even better when that experience is shared with others.


The woman right across from me in this pic below👇🏻 is my mom and it just so happen to be the day after Mother's Day so I got to spend a couple days with her. She's always been a big fan of my artistic endeavors, and I loved being able to serenade to her with some Mother's Day songs. It was truly a lovely evening.



It then so happened that the next day The Commons Cafe decided to bring back their open mic after more than a year of it on hold. Poetry has never been my thing and in fact, I use that as an excuse as to why I don't write songs. "I'm just not a good writer." My mother, on the other hand, has the gift. She's shared her writings with me over the years which I've always found to be so whimsical and raw.

And then I saw her perform her poetry. The first time was before COVID and although she was a bit nervous and shaky, her words really touched my heart and that of the audience.


This second time was that next night. I decided to stay an extra day so that I could perform a couple pieces myself and watch her do her thing.

She blew me away.

I'm so proud ♥️



"Awaiting The Birth Of My Daughter" by my mother, Trudi Forti


Trudi pregnant with Jen in her blue, denim dress circa 1975




Awaiting The Birth Of My Daughter

by Trudi Forti



During my pregnancy I wore a blue denim dress, the washed denim as soft as a mother's sigh. For nine long months my daughter slumbered beneath that dress. Impatient to know her, I began talking to her with my fingers as they circled my growing belly - round and round, each circle a story of what awaited her - the moment when her father and I welcomed her into the world, the lullabies that I would sing, just like those my mother sang to me, the gradual unfurling of 'first times' that lie ahead. The bib of the dress was a plaque of vertical pleats, like those of an artist's smock. I wore it every day of my pregnancy, imagining with an artist's eye delicate swirls of color taking shape, tiny details filling in under the circling of my hand - the flutter of her heart, the whisper of tiny fingers and toes. I memorized every inch of her body as it blossomed beneath my hand, like some exotic flower unfolding in beautiful time lapse precision. I am sure people smiled as my fingers slowly traced that familiar path - on the bus to work, in line at the supermarket - the fading denim circle beneath my hand speaking volumes.