H&H Week 20: Brushes.
Every Friday, another H&H blog post will be released. Each post will have an associated song that you can watch and listen to via YouTube. The songs are usually written from a perspective other than my own, but this week I decided to write from my heart. Click HERE to listen to this weeks song called "Brushes."
On my trek across the country, I have tried to write songs from other people's perspectives. It has been a neat way to learn about the interesting characters I have met on my travels. And it has allowed me to grow as a writer, both lyrically and musically.
This week I decided to write from my own perspective. I had been dreaming up this song for months, and since I've been mostly stuck in cold rainy weather this week, I thought this would be a good time to finally put in the effort to write it (mostly because I haven't met anybody new!).
I anticipated a quick song -- usually if I've been thinking about a topic for awhile my brain has some lyrical concepts ready to go. But on this one I really struggled. Maybe the topic was too big for me to tackle so quickly. Maybe I needed even more time than I thought. Maybe I had waited too long and the inspiration was gone.
I spent all day today toying with lyrics but couldn't seem to get them right. Eventually, I wrote what is below. I have a feeling the song will evolve in the future.
The idea for the song comes from a moment I had while visiting Yosemite National Park in California. My mother had asked me to stop at Vernal Falls. This was the place where they spread her best friends ashes, 18 years ago. I am not the most spiritual person, but the least I could do was set aside a few moments to remember her, Lori, in this beautiful place.
So there I was, climbing on rocks to the middle of the river at the base of the falls. I found a rock I liked and sat down. I was close enough to the water that I could easily touch it with my hands. It was cold and fast.
I closed my eyes and started thinking about Lori. I was only 5 years old when she passed. My memory of her isn't much more than a few blurry images stored in the back of my head, and some of these are probably synthetically constructed from the stories my mother has told me over the years.
I was just about done when I felt a shift in my demeanor. To say I felt "warmth" is too shallow of a description. Maybe saying that I felt a warm "pull" or "connection" is closer to the truth. I'm not used to experiences like this, but maybe one day I'll discover the vocabulary to properly describe them.
My mind was surprisingly calm. I began a conversation with this "connection," or myself, or whatever was happening. Perhaps it was a form of meditation. My subconscious mind lead my thoughts toward some of the deeper emotions I had been feeling at the time.
"What am I doing with my life?"
"Am I supposed to be doing this trip?"
"Why am I wasting my time?"
The connection got warmer. It seemed to remind me that I was right where I needed to be. Lori had always made travel a priority in her life, especially after she was diagnosed with cancer. Clearly, I wasn't wasting my time. In fact, worrying about wasting my time was in it of itself a waste of time.
I sat there for quite some time. I thanked Lori for all of the people she has touched in my life. Through them, she has touched me more than she could ever understand while she was with us. But I have a feeling she understands now.
My mom always says one of Lori's biggest fears was being forgotten. Well Lori, from someone who hardly had the chance to know you, you're not! You're so much more than that even. You're more than a memory.
Lori, i hope you’re there
hold me, you know i’m scared
your brushes, left all over town
they paint me when i’m down, woah
these rocks are gray, this river is cold,
yet it rushes your colors through my soul
the falls they thunder, the wind it roars
yet the only voice i hear, i swear it’s yours
Lori, i know you’re there
hold me, you know i'm scared
your story, it made me see
oh, Lori -- you're more than memory