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Tag: personal writing

Swimming (in my mind)

In my journal writing this month I continue to explore themes around accepting what is now and simply being present. I find that I spend too much time trying to recreate an image or a memory or to fulfill a story that promises to give me peace (while missing out on peace in the moment). How can I navigate the complex relationship between personal history and narratives, memory, and the now? I don’t have the answers yet (probably will never) but “Swimming,” in a sense, is a mindful acknowledgement of this conundrum.

This recording captures my intention well. I recorded the guitar part in the front porch in the evening with the stereo condenser mic that’s built into my recorder, so you can hear all of the wonderful ambient bug and street noises. For the vocals, I mixed a close mic and a room mic to further the “I’m right there” vibe. I may add to the arrangement and tweak some lyrics in the coming weeks, but I am happy to have dislodged the writing block and to be re-inspired for songwriting.


Swimming (in my mind)

If you convince me,
convince me to leave,
I’m not sure I’ll ever know what to believe.
Was it there in those gold times before we quit?
I don’t think I was dreaming,
I’m still swimming in it.

I’m still swimming in my mind.

And if I convince you,
convince you to stay,
I’m not sure you’ll ever be here anyway.
It was real in those gold times, before the wars.
I’m still up to my earlobes
and you are standing on shore.

I’m still swimming in my mind.

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Accidental Vampire

One night in early July, after banging my head against a different song project for a couple of hours without any success, i started flipping through my journal and found the opening line to this tune. A few hours later after a bit of guitar noodling and some inspired moments on a long walk, Accidental Vampire was born. I am particularly happy with the arrangement and the progression of the three parts. This was written prior to The Roller Coaster but i didn’t finish recording and mixing until a few days ago.

The video consists of clips from Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror (1922)


Accidental Vampire

I’m afraid that we never existed
and I’m not sure that you’re even my wife.
At the times when my heart was overfilled,
seems I was draining you, draining you out.

Oh, but when all the blood was drawn
there was nothing left to feed upon.
Oh, but when the daylight came
I burned alive in fiery pain.

I did not intend to be a vampire—
but it was so much fun, oh, what have I done?

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The Invitation

I came back to watch
the glowing magenta lift off,
hungover with grief
and hungry to feel loved.

Not a cloud was in the sky,
just a rich haze hovering over the line.
Rainbows shimmered at my feet
as the muddy blue horizon gave way.

The geese, drifting silently,
took no notice.
The gulls, oblivious to this minor miracle,
laughed their way through yesterday’s celebrations.

I could be here, and I am.
But also I am not—
too caught up in a long-denied truth
and where it might take me.

The sun, now high and yellow and too-bright,
illuminated the edges of my pages
as the geese, now flapping above me,
honked out an invitation.

And I accepted.


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Not now, but soon

Four nights ago I heard
the sweet call of fantastic vision.
Hope of a life well-lived and uniquely played.

And rest.

But sunrise brought a flaming terror,
and burned out the peace I had tended to
over so many previous dawns.
The pain of loss (not now, but soon)
drove me to pull what remained.

But I have begun to dig
in this new, hard ground.
Cultivating the seeds of an invasive peace
that thrives in the cracks between stones
and spreads beyond intention.

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The Pilgrimage and The Presence

A family of three skunks showed me
the way to the lake
and the shore where sailboats,
sparsely docked, stood swaying
under mountain ranges of cloud.

I waited and watched
as the sunrise persisted,
illuminating the foothills.

A window (rose with fiery peach linings)
opened above the dim red burn
and lightning splashed its fierce light,
revealing hidden crags and peaks.

All the while changing, changing.

Tiny, lapping waves watched
and whispered too.
This is not the only shore,
there is another sunrise.


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Giving beyond myself

The lump—that deep twist in my gut.
I am holding too tight, even as I let go.
Scooping out my melon of a belly,
emptying it of everything, including hunger.

She doesn’t care for watermelon
but I continue to present it, bowl after bowl.
An offering,
a show of just how far I am willing to go.

As unappealing as my misplaced entrails
and the hunger that is and isn’t.

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I take it as a sign that I am truly living

I take it as a sign that I am truly living, that all at once I am experiencing

terror and joyful excitement

acceptance and hopeful ambition

deep laughter and slow tears

pride and regret

I am standing at the top of a hill ready to roll down, and I am at the foot of another hill beginning to climb.

I take this as a sign that I am truly living.


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Recalibration

I want more from myself. I want fewer compulsive behaviors and more mindful ones. I want wilder nights and more peaceful days. I want to be able to gain and keep momentum at will. I want my words to be received and understood just as I had intended. I want to experience deep friendships and exquisite solitude. I want power in my steps and humility in my words. I want all of this and a good night’s sleep.

What i need is to be present. Here, now. What i need it to let go of all the planning and striving and just put one foot in front of the other and delight in it.

Recalibrating…

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