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And So It Goes

Week 38 of #songaweek2016 had an added challenge – write a song using only one chord. So I took it up, and made a rough live recording with my phone, while the girl was sitting nearby talking to me and the boy was outside jumping on the trampoline – all of which you can hear in the recording. A day in the life – a day in a very rich life.

and so it goes
and on and on
so on and so forth
et cetera

what you see
is what you get
unless you’re looking
past your reach

roll the dice
toss a coin
spin the bottle
pick a card (any card)

derricklweston

Another day, another unarmed black man dead. Terence Crutcher’s SUV stalled as he was coming back from community college classes. He was studying music appreciation and was very active in his church choir. Seeing his picture reminds me of any number of big dudes I know who can sing their lungs out. From his view in a helicopter, a Tulsa police officer thought he looked like a bad dude. Instead of trying to help the man with the stalled car, two officers made him put his hands up as he approached them for help. As he reached into his SUV, probably to grab some form of identification, which again, should not have been necessary because he was the one in distress, he was tased and then shot. He was unarmed. He was the father of four.

I feel like ranting and raving about how angry and scared this makes me…

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Minnesota Goodbye

*tl;dr: Absence makes the heart grow fonder and I’ve come down with my first big case of homesickness since moving to Colorado from Minnesota three years ago. So I took a jokey Minnesota cliche and made it into a sad song.

**satcv: You know that feeling you get, how, after you moved away from your small town to the big city up the road, got a job, learned to ride public transportation, bought a house, started a family, then moved back to your small town when the second baby was on the way so your small children could grow up in the same town as their grandparents, then after seven years back in that small town you got the urge for adventure and packed it all up and moved out west and drank in the sunshine and craft beer and hiked the mountains, bought a house, got a dog, and then three years later started feeling a bit lonely in paradise and then your kid (after riding on his uncle’s pontoon boat in Ohio) started obsessing about getting a boat, and then somehow while you and your beloved were drinking mojitos on the front porch and your kids were jumping on the trampoline and your boat-loving kid was going on and on about boats, you started reminiscing about your days owning a sailboat and taking it out on Lake Minnetonka and the Apostle Islands, and then somehow (you can’t recall exactly how) the conversation morphed into the big dreamy idea to buy a houseboat and live on the Mississippi River in downtown Saint Paul, and now even though the houseboat idea is quite enough to get you dreaming, you’re finding that the living-back-in-the-big-city-in-Minnesota idea has not stopped working on you, and you miss your family terribly – all of whom live in that understated state of winter and mosquitoes (and brilliant cultural landmarks and rivers and lakes and the Boundary Waters and fireflies and friends you miss and family you love) – yeah, you know that feeling?

Well, that’s what my song for week 37 of #songaweek2016 is about. And in writing this blog post, I discovered I’m not the first to make a song called Minnesota Goodbye. Oh, hey, that reminds me of another blog post . . .

*too long; didn’t read

**sitting around the campfire version

Anyhoo, here’s the song:

the yellow truck filled up its belly
and now we’re on the road
and the rain starts on the windshield
across the plains we’re making good time
running for the west
we’ll sleep tonight in a halfway hotel

i’m going away, the mountains are calling me
going away, and your river rolls on
I never knew quite how to say a
Minnesota goodbye

here the sun shines nearly every day
winter’s just a cool breeze
and the canyons open deep spaces in my heart
your prairies never sang so loud
your big woods kept their distance
and your lakes just held their peace

the years have passed in golden moments
here in paradise
but I wish you all were here
and now your river has been whispering
in my dreams of late
or maybe the mountains are helping me to hear

I’m so far away, the mountains will always call
so far away, but now your river calls back
I never knew quite how to say a
Minnesota goodbye

no river, no mountain, no golden sun paradise
can hold me like the people who love me

we’re so far away, and mountains keep calling us
so far away, and rivers call back
we’ll never be better at saying these
Minnesota goodbyes

Jacob

My song for week 36 of #songaweek2016 is in memory of Jacob Wetterling. There are no words for this . . .

 

Wishing on a Starfish

A little goofy, a little sparkly-dreamy, a lot of synth for week 35 of #songaweek2016:

 

You’d Be

My parents have a garden, a sort-of hidden garden, a sort-of other world tucked behind their rather normal-looking split-level house in a rather normal-looking small town neighborhood. And every summer when I pack up to go visit them, I daydream about that garden, about myself sitting in it with a cup of coffee, about the birds and the bunnies and the chipmunks and yes, even squirrels, who will be busy all around me.

Or I remember this moment from last summer, the light on my girl’s golden hair, my mind gently rocking with the rhythm of her swinging, and yes, even my boy begging me to be done with my coffee break.

Sitting in the garden this summer, in the same spot where I recorded that little video last summer, I wrote the first few lines of what became my song for week 34 of #songaweek2016, which you can hear here:

You’d be swinging with the breeze
shaded by the breathing leaves
if you were the garden’s child
drowsy as the birds and bees

you’d be singing newborn songs
with the water swept along
if you were the river’s child
you’d be flowing ever on

you’d be life you’d be breath
you’d be sleep and dreams and death
peals of laughter pools of tears
flights of joy and jolts of fear

you’d be climbing on the bones
of a long-forgotten poem
if you were the mountain’s child
patient as the ancient stone

you’d be diving in the dark
far beneath the crowded ark
if you were the ocean’s child
throbbing siren, silent shark

you’d be light you’d be sound
you’d be caverns underground
ceaseless waves of navy blue
reaching for receding moon

 

A little dreamy ode to the simple life, here’s my song for week 33 of #songaweek2016. With Nathan Bloom on harmonica. Would’ve loved to add more instruments and fill it out a bit, but it was an extra busy week with a real live gig and kids going back to school. (That toddly baby in the picture is now a tall, soccer-playing fourth grader!)

There would be raspberries in our little yard
the sun would shine all the time
except when the rain came to help our garden grow
then we’d be snug inside

could every day be like a holiday?
could this be happily? (ever after)

We’d keep some chickens in a little coop
we’d thank them for the eggs
maybe a baby, maybe two
toddling on wobbly legs

some nights there might be tears on our pillows
some dreams just won’t come true
but all these broken parts of our hearts
make spaces for the light and air and rivers to flow through

out on our front porch we’d pass the evening hours
watching the branches sway
We’d smile at neighbors and strangers passing by
until we call it a day