first year

song.land podcast—first year

I started song.land podcast one year ago on October 8, 2018. I share a special episode tonight to commemorate the anniversary occasion.

As usual, it’s filled with passionate songs that might be hard to follow but are full of emotion. Enjoy the interpretation if you can make it work, and enjoy the trance if it takes you there!

References

I’m proud to have one year of this podcast done. At no point have I even tried to make this a marketable podcast, so thank you for all who have put up with its many rough edges.

My goals for the coming year with song.land:

  • Perform song.land in front of people at least three times by summer 2020.
  • Test ways to play this with other band members by spring 2020.
  • Have a regular intro for the podcast by fall 2020.
  • Hit 1,000 subscribers next year, fall 2020.

settling

song.land—settling

Today’s song.land reveals more of the raw pain of life: bruised bones, broken friendships, and a deep underlying longing for the day when relationships are restored.

Notes

  • Ribs and Joshua—my friend, Joshua, hugged me so hard after our work meetup in Orlando, Florida, last week that I have a bruised rib. It really hurts.
  • Taylor—I roomed near Taylor in college. He had a brief band called Brown Hall Symphony in Knoxville, TN. Google can’t find their top hits, so I can’t link them right now. I was ever-inspired.
  • Miss Tennessee—Catie. I have had the deep pleasure of having played music and grown from Miss Tennessee’s father. He taught me some fundamental truths about music: it’s possible to play skillful music and have a lot of fun at the same time, it just takes practice to learn the boring parts. I will remember Richard fondly forevermore.
  • Sound of Settling—a song by Death Cab for Cutie. This song has had an articulate influence in my life over the past 15 years. My version has zero Stratocasters, but one Taylor acoustic guitar: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pphrk6wE5aw Thank you, Ben Gibbard.
  • My friend, Caroline, once said I played the best guitar she’d heard. It meant so much to me. I know it’s not the best out there, yet I am encouraged forevermore.
  • The idea of reflecting on one’s future self comes from a podcast episode of On Being: remember your future self.

Transcript

It’s been a hard week for me
Has it been for you?
My rib got crushed
And it feels so hard to breathe, to breathe
How does that happen?

Thank you, Joshua
Thanks for nothin’
Now when I lay down
I feel every convulsion of my chest

It rips me open
It rips me open

Oh, and I wish I had no pain in my life
Oh, how I wish

1:45

You brew your drinks
Strapped in mystery
How interesting every moment with you is to me
And I wish I knew all of your stories
And I wish I knew all of your stories

‘Cause our life has so many uncertainties
And unfortunate developments
Even the good ones cause changes
Oh, to what we assumed we’d all have

So we ride on the waves of shame

But don’t let that get in your way
Don’t let that

3:50

So, next time you feel pain, just know
We’re all suffering
And how can you ease the pain?
And your brother and your sister, and let it go?

Wash it out like the ocean?
Set it out to sea?

And let it roll
Let it roll with the tide

4:40

Like in my dormitory, singin’ songs
Oh, Taylor, where did that go?
You meant so much to me

Life has so many unexpected twists
But it’s all part of how we get from A to B
We’re not computer, we’re not rockets
Flying in straight lines
We zig zag, and go back and forth, and question and wonder, oh, wonder

6:00

[dialogue]

I’ve got a hunger
Twisting my stomach into knots
That my tongue has tied off

My brain’s repeating
“If you’ve got an impulse, let it out”
But they’ll never make it past my mouth

Ba pa, this is the sound of settling

7:30

Our youth is fleeting
Old age is just around the bend
And I can’t wait to go gray

I’ll sit and wonder
Of every love that could have been
If I’d only thought of something charming to say

Ba pa, this is the sound of settling

Don’t let it go there
When we have rolled to the end
Where will we find to the next stop?

And you sit watching off your front porch
What could you do if you hadn’t just left?
With every moment, every hour, every hour
And every possibility in your heart?

Where could you ever have gone
If you, if you, if you, if you, if you only had left?

Ba pa, this is the sound of settling?

I lived for 45 years
Everywhere I went it was the same
Never driving, never knowing
Where I could go if I could just look behind me

Who are we to be reflective?
Who are we to look behind?
And see who we were when we were little lads playing in the yard?

Ba pa, this is the sound of settling

Oh, my first love
Tumblecows coming down the mountains
Oh, they fulfilled us

Sitting in that van for hours and hours we laughed
It meant so much to me, I will never forget

And sitting under fireworks years later
How the fast-forward button moves us far along
You said you had to go
It was in the fireworks in the sky

Ba pa, this is the sound of settling

Late in the night
All my ways have fallen apart
They left, they left me for dead
I had no other options instead

I went driving and walking for hours
To ask the deepest questions of my heart
Who do I want to be?

Ba pa, this is the sound of settling

Flash forward
Who are you in 10 years?
A voice has passed through you

To say you’ve failed
To say you’ve got no future left
Oh, but you do, oh but you do

No matter where you are today your future self will thank you
For sticking around and pushing through the hard times

Because we never know what’s coming up
Oh, we never know what’s coming up

Ba pa, this is the sound of settling

I’ve got a hunger twisting my stomach into knots

14:15

One million times I’ve sung the same song
Bleed the same old chords
But my heart still has a new verse that you haven’t heard

Oh, sing with the music
Oh, sing with the tears
‘Cause life will let you down
So many, so many times

And I hold onto you, onto love
And I hold onto you, onto love
And I hold onto you, onto love
And I hold onto you, onto love

Like cherishing each moment that I love

15:50

In these lonely moments I stand
In these cold days, melting, ice stands

We have unknown futures, unknown
We have some many possibilities
I could be red, or blue, or green
Just choose, just choose
Just choose, just choose

In the world of Lego bricks and sweet romance novels
I don’t know what is coming
But in the world of Greek tragedies
Oh, hope seems but lost, seems but lost
Oh, hope seems but lost, seems but lost

Hold on, just a little bit longer
Through the hardest times
Don’t let go
Your future self, your future self
Your future self, your future self
Shall thank you

Your future self, your future self
Your future self shall thank you

Your future self, your future self
Your future self shall thank you

Your future self, your future self
Your future self

Oh, in your dreams
Your future self
Oh, in your dreams

18:40

Unknown future
Oh, Miss Tennessee
I remember singing with you thinking that we could be

Something wonderful
You were wonderful to me

And sorrow strikes us all in different ways
I can’t compare to yours
I can’t compare to yours

But your smile and your heart
Seemed bright white
Like a virgin Michigan snow
The only tracks I see are deer
And you are dear to me
And you are dear to me

20:10

I have losses in my life
But I hold on
Please hold on

Please hold on, too

21:45

She said to me
You play the best guitar that I’ve ever seen

I could never believe you
I hold you so dear and near to my heart

That the loss of your
That the loss of your presence
That the loss of your

Let it go, let it go
Move beyond

Let it go, let it go
Pick beyond

In the end we find hope
Even when there’s none today
‘Cause we have this very moment

I move my fingers to make a chord
That connects with my soul
And we are one
And we are one
And we are one
And like I dreamed
And like I dreamed
And like I dreamed

We are one
We are one
We are one
We are one

24:40

So let it go
All your regrets and all your mistakes
Don’t let them hold you back
They make us stronger
Into who we can be
Into who we might be
Into our full possibilties

Into you
Into me

Into our full possibilities

25:30

I could keep practicing
I’ve gotten rusty in so many ways
In my love
In my love

Fading into the background

And in my own ways
I see you love me
Where I hold on you are strong
Where I can find you

Just being here with me tonight
We will find all our ways
Never to leave, something serene
We have all our ways

Whoa, whoa
Whoa
Whoa, we have all our ways
We have all our ways
We have all our ways

began

I want to see your body move
In the ways of the ocean
Pulled by the moon
Back to where we began

song.land—began

We venture into another song.land, a meaningless meandering through my verbose thoughts set to improvisational music.

If you listen, thank you! If not, spend the 20 minutes you would listening to this in a healthy way—let a plant grow, reassure someone of your love for them because you matter and they matter, too, and/or eat an apple and consume the seeds for their healthy bacteria.

Transcript

Falling
So far from
The place you call your home

Nearly
Find a mystery
You do know your own

Someone
Never
Let it go for you

Someone
Never
Have what you did need

They were not there with you
Finding all the things wrong with you
And they were not there with you
Finding all, finding all

2:30

But their solace came on trains from the south
In distorted perspectives

When I thought that reality was a construct of their heart

You and I
Know better now
We know better now
We know better now

You and me
We know better now
We know better now

I want to see your body move
In the ways of the ocean
Pulled by the moon
Back to where we began
Where we began

Pulled by the moon
Into the sea
Where we began
Where we began

Ooh, where we began
Where we began

Repeats

And life calls to you from higher places

Don’t let it all go to waste
Don’t let it all go to waste

6:00

‘Cause when we fall apart
We fall so hard

Don’t let your self-sabotage lead you astray
What do you want?

7:30

What do you want?
What do you want?

In your life, in love
In all relationships
What do you want?

In my loneliness
I seek to be found out

And in my loneliness
I need to be found out
I need to be found out
I need to be found out

9:30

And life was all, falling all to pieces
The light was so much more
If you could look beyond a day’s pain
What can you be grateful for?
In the midst of so much pain?

What can you be grateful for
In the midst of so much pain?

11:10

Riptides pull us down into the darkness of the water
And of the night
I can’t see anything

Riptides pull me down into the water
Into the sea

I see the jellyfish flapping toward me

Oh my life, what are you leaving me with now?
Me with now?

12:10

I sing a song with chords
And love is lost

Oh

13:45

I sing this song to you so that you can see that love has something left to give
Even if it’s temporary
The short-term admonition to your soul

I’m all on fire for you
I’m all on fire for you
I’m all on fire for you

16:00

I know the basket of pears that you left at my doorstep
Guide me on

Like Greek mythology
Is there some chase that I must find out?

Like all the fears I felt
All the years I felt
I’ll find out

Like you with your shirt tucked in
Walking around again
You are so unbelievable

I can’t believe that fate has brought us here
It’s hard to see how it’s all so clear

Can I impress with my skills
Like a peacock searching for
Validation?
Oh, what a search it has raught

One, four, five six (this is wrong)
Six, four, one, five (this is right)

18:55

And I know life is all you need
Never looking beyond the seas
Where you planted all that you gave

We have something special
When we met together
Talking and walking and sharing each other
And knowing and looking and finding and seeing

And all I gave up was substantial to me
And all I gave up was substantial to me

20:00

Love
(laugh at ending)

back

song.land—back

song.land returns for weekly episodes of this silly podcast project. Auto-tune brings the digital to the acoustic.

And our fears, don’t let it get to you
Anxiety may never come true

So, what, me worry?
So, what, me worry?
So, what, me worry?
Why?

9:45

run

“Where is your curiosity? Where are you asking into things you cannot see? We need you, we need you to ask.”

song.land—run

A new song.land podcast drop is epic! I remain without a recording location so am not following a weekly schedule.

I am working to remedy this situation as song.land is important to me.

(Every blog has to have a “I haven’t blogged in a while” post. That’s what 30% of all blog posts say. I’m happy to contribute to that statistic.)

Please enjoy! I did in making it.

The first 20 minutes are much stronger than the rest of the episode.

coffee

song.land—coffee

Shame—what’s the solution to such a universal emotion? This song.land explores the feelings and ideas of shame and its cure, showing up in vulnerability.

Grab a cup of coffee and share with me while we explore.

I changed guitar strings before recording and the room was very humid. The strings sound more jangly than I’d like.

the sun

song.land—stay out of the sun

stay out of the sun (the originally published name) is an episode of song.land where we discuss pressing into the uncomfortable, painful parts of our lives.

Except the sun. Don’t pick a fight with the sun. You will lose.

Transcript

Welcome to song.land
It is the afternoon
Which is usually the time when I feel so tired
Get the afternoon laziness in me

Not at at song.land

If you want to go to places you’ve not yet seen
Then you have to risk things that you do know

How do we control the world?
Around us? Oh

Oh, life
You are so hard to understand
Some moments, it
Doesn’t make any sense at all

Like how we just open endlessly
What’s the value of our days?

2:00

Well, I can say a lot of answers, like:
Make money or
Have power or
Have influence or might

Or just struggle until I can be some form of happy
That I find in my heart

Or I can pursue the pleasures of a power greater than myself
A cause, God, a lifestyle, it’s
Oh, so varied

But still I often end the day feeling lonely
And still I often end the day feeling discontented and sad

So somewhere
There is a deeper way
To align ourselves with this planet that spin around on
Every single minute of every day
And all the revolutions go and go and go and go and go

But something special’s going to come out of it
And I think a part of it is finding the heart of it
Finding your soul
And singing a song about it

song.land
Welcome here with me
song.land
Welcome here with me

Welcome here with me

5:00

INTRO

6:00

What do you need in your life
Where the pieces fall?
What do you need in your nights
Where do your pieces fall?

For me, it’s always something different
But usually it has to be with how much sleep I got and how I’m connecting to people

So what do you need in your life?
What do you need in your life?
I hold up a world different than mine
I observe a perspective different than mine

How do I do that?
Well, it’s not always clear
Looking out my windows, I see a tree
But I can never, ever look out your windows

I can guess, I can ask, and I can listen to you describe
But in humility
The truth is I can never understand you
‘Cause you are you are, and our consciousness is different

So, talking and listening
Seems easy and it seems universal
But it is not
It is not
It is not

8:20

I still interrupt
I still speak over
I still asked closed questions that have my preferred answered in the way I ask it
I’m not letting you decide for yourself

And I am someone that watches out for that
I try to watch and observe and improve
But even I mess up all the time
All the time
All the time
All the time

And I don’t listen to you
Not in the way I could if I were perfect
But I am not
You aren’t either

And I hear what you say
And I try to see it in your way
But I understand my view will always be cloudy

Even when we feel so magically connected
After talking for a very long time

9:45

When you or I are frustrated
What do you do?
How do you express it?
Where do you take it to?

I hope we have healthy ways
I hope you have healthy ways

It’s all that the powers of the world
Want to work out of
Human relationships
‘Cause productivity drops in all the measurements we seem to care about
Go down when we do the most important things in all our lives

Truly, it’s vital
It’s no waste
It’s like a business looking out for the next three months instead of the next 10 years

So listen to your way of communicating and try to make it better
What did the person before the person before the person started talking,
What did they say?
What did they contribute?
What did they add to the circle?
The volleys of conversation

11:50

It’s gotta be 95 degrees up in this attic today
This is an unsustainable place to record my music
I came up only at the beginning of this podcast
I’m sweating now in ways I wouldn’t care to show you

I am wearing deoderant
That’s ok, that’s ok
We all need to sweat
To build you heart muscles and your soul muscles and your arteries

The sweating’s not the issue
What it is is that I realize I have a low threshhold for discomfort

So many things in my life are marketed to me to make life easier
But that’s not what I really need
The sweating is fine
The work makes us better

Creativity splashes out of your need
So stay a little uncomfortable
Uncomfortable

14:49

Heat stroke
Heat stroke
Stay out of the summer sun

Heat stroke
Heat stroke
Stay out of the summer sun

Don’t let life get the best
Don’t let life overcome you
Be smart, be wise, and be shrewd

Be as kind as a dove
And as cunning as a snake

Stay out, stay out of the sun
If it’s killing you
But don’t run away from those uncomfortable places in your life

Wait patiently
See how you grow
How you change

‘Cause I know I don’t change when I’m comfortable
And I know I’m not learning new things unless I’m just a little bit desperate
I don’t reach out for help
Unless I really really really really need it in socially acceptable ways

That’s rediculous
But we still have to play the social construct game
So what do we do, what do we do?

That’s where you’re shrewd as snakes and as wise and kind as a dove
Flying through the sky
Looking like an angel

Oh, but I can slither on the ground and hunt
When I’m hungry
So stay hungry, and curious

And out of the sun
Out of the sun

17:30

‘Cause life is all I have
I need to protect
I need to give it all the time to raise me into a new kind of person
Let pain guide me
To become whole

And stay out of the sun

18:00

All I need is something that is out of reach
And all I need is the sun to warm me
To guide my way
And to set my days
And to let me know
Even if today is bad
Tomorrow will rise again
Stronger, stronger, stronger, stronger

Than today, oh, ’cause I have learned so much
From the pain in my life
Oh, it hurts, oh it hurts

And I change and I grow from the awful things that
I would not wish on anyone else

But it makes me whole
But it makes me whole

You have no idea your life is shaped by the terrible
Oh, it hurts so much

You are strong, and better
And glorious

‘Cause love
‘Cause love
‘Cause love is the song that remains when pain is a part of us

20:00

Learn and grow, my friends
Learn and grow, my friends
Learn and grow, my friends

And stay out of the sun
Stay out, everyone

Stay out of the sun
Stay out of the sun

21:30

I resonate good
So you can sing
Singing these songs everyday
It’s song.land
song.land
song.land

Have a good day!

become whole

song.land—we become whole

song.land explores the gift that constant improvement offers our lives, whether from internal motivation or external motivation, whether something we do on our own or something done by energy + natural selection.

May you find hope in growing the parts of you that you feel ashamed of, afraid to share with others. It is in that sharing that you and I will find wholeness.