longing town

We want to last, and for things to last … and I don’t know how to do that except through art.

I’m singing in a little town tonight, a whisper on the map.  I’ll drive two hours through the countryside to get to it.

It’s the little towns I like. I can understand these places, settle in and lose myself in any one of them. They make me want something of what’s passed.

Maybe one day I’ll put the town, its lampposts undermined by twilight, half-hidden in my lines, and a song will become my history with the place. And maybe the song will give me the illusion that I never left, and the moment will last forever.

My life has been filled with longings. It’s consoling to be going tonight, on my way to another place I will miss.

longing town

like a prayer

Live performance is writing in pencil on a small postcard.

It’s transient and something that the audience may not remember exactly but may talk about, years later.

It comes with surprises and no guarantees. It’s an entirely different way of being in the world.

The worst seat in the house belongs to the singer:  on stage, I am as a mockingbird alone upon the house top. I feel the pain in my fingers, the rawness of making sound.

At the same time, it’s the best seat in the house: what I experience is something so unbelievably pure, which is before the sound actually happens. I hover, like prayer.

like prayer

opening sounds

What something sounds like can’t change what it is:

The sound of a drawer opening …

The north wind on the telephone lines …

A motorbike along the lane …

Lilacs crashing through old barn walls …

The key turning in the door to an empty house …

Footsteps retreating.

Yet sound opens sound. It taps the spot that’s inside me with a lyric or melody, and the door to music opens:

The sound of clothes being emptied from the drawer by a departing lover …

The sound of the dangling farewell …

A biker who falls and in his fall hears his bones cry out …

The young sound in an old heart …

The hollow echo of the voice inside the door …

And me, walking beside you … humming like the air.