Courtney Barnett / Bowery Ballroom by Makena Cummings

One of my most favorite artists of 2015 played at Bowery Ballroom a few weeks ago. This girl is an inspiration. Her lyrics are funny and incredibly genuine. I can't get enough of her music and her show was so much fun. I can't wait to see her again at Bonnaroo! 

Maggie Visits NYC by Makena Cummings

One of my dearest friends visited me on Memorial Day weekend. It was her first time in the big city and I had the best time showing her around. I love being a tourist in my own city, seeing all the sights and then taking the train a few stops home. It's also nice having an excuse to go to all of my favorite places in one weekend. This is one thing that will never get old about living here: having endless activities when friends visit. 

Fat White Family by Makena Cummings

I learned last week that sometimes you go to shows and you're completely out of your element. Fat White Family was very out of my element. It was not the ideal situation for a concert photographer, getting shoved and pushed around. I didn't make it very long, to be honest with you. But I'm glad I had the opportunity to see a band with such an energetic following. These guys are definitely making an impression in the music world. But I will be sticking to my indie rock shows for the most part. The punk crowd is a little much for me, but I got some fun shots out of it. 

Fellowship by Makena Cummings

Here's a little preface to basically everything I think I will ever write on this blog from now on. I recall thinking while I was in college that after graduation I would no longer be learning new things. Like the anatomy of an eyeball or the symbolic elements of Frankenstein. I told this to my grandpa and he looked at me like the naive person I was (am). "You're always learning, Makena," he said. "It surely doesn't end when college ends. I'm still learning every single day." I think of this moment often because it's one of the truest things I've ever heard. I really am constantly learning things. Only now, they're not presented in a nice syllabus. They're flying at me constantly, knocking me over, disorienting me, enlightening me, all of that. So here's some learning...

Fellowship can be really hard to find in post-grad, urban life. It's not easy to keep up relationships in a place where you don't have a car and aren't likely going to run into each other on your lunch break. It takes a lot of effort to simply get to see the people you do life with, let alone ACTUALLY do life with them. But the thing about living in this city is that we need each other more than ever. We crave some sort of refuge when we are constantly being pushed to our limits on a regular basis. Here are the main qualities I've found are required to have real, authentic relationships with people here (and pretty much everywhere but maybe not to this extreme). 

  • Fellowship takes having your priorities straight. We have to make time to enjoy each other's company. Yes, it's likely been a long week. 
  • It takes intentionality and being vulnerable. You're not going to get anywhere if you're simply comfortable all the time. Sometimes the hard stuff comes up and you can't just run away. 
  • And it takes a lot of love and grace that is founded in the Gospel. 

I am beyond blessed to have some wonderful people in my life here who drink margaritas with me on Friday nights and aren't afraid to say what's really going on. They are constantly inspiring me and pushing me toward the Lord. This place would be so much colder without them.