On Driftwood

This morning my grandma and I woke up in the darkness at 6am to shoot a music video.

We wouldn’t have done this, except we were walking along a remote beach last week, and came across this abandoned homestead made of driftwood. There once was a community of people living here, my grandma said: I used to see them when I walked my dog down here years ago. In place of the colorful tents and long-haired men that once nestled into the sand, only a driftwood castle remained. They built this massive, angular structure, the center of their village, the gathering place. They tied emblems to the ends of the bone-dry branches: old Nikes, beautiful glass bottles, buoys, and strips of colorful ribbon. They painted a few branches with vibrant blues, yellows, and pinks, penning all-seeing eyes and names of past lovers. They put up a plaque for someone named “Red” who died there in 2009. There were clear outlines of different rooms, like the Aztec ruins in New Mexico.

When we first came across the driftwood complex, I felt like I was in Peter Pan’s wonderland. The place had magic. I felt so inspired. I casually mentioned how great it would be to shoot a music video there, and my grandma said, why not? We should do it.

I don’t think many people can say that their grandma was the videographer for their music video. I’m feeling really blessed to be in this position. My grandma happens to be a really masterful photographer, so she’s accustomed to being behind the camera, and was really excited about collaborating on this project with me. And I’m accustomed to being in front of it – it’s part of my job as a professional musician. I especially love shooting music videos where I’m interacting with nature – I shot one on an iPhone camera last fall, and made one with Lilac Milk last winter.

So this morning we drove out to the beach for sunrise and shot the first footage for the new music video for my song Meteor. In the castle on the sand.

Meteor

sit with me
gaze into space
can you hear
the stars embrace

stay with me
on the bridge
blankets up
to the edge

of our faces
of our chins
breathing places
we’ve never been

I know, I know you
I know, I know it’s hard

the meteor may never come
but there are songs yet to be sung
the meteor is slow to fall
but you and I talk through it all

take in
the night sky
as it bows
its head to cry

walking past
the morning birds
they understand
how much it hurts

to know you can’t
go back and change
who you were
or who you hurt

I know, I know you
I know, I know it’s hard

the meteor may never come
but there are songs yet to be sung
the meteor is slow to fall
but you and I talk through it all

I know it’s sad
but I’m here
I know it’s sad
but have no fear

we’ll lift up
our heads tonight
and won’t look back
on who we might have been

I know, I know you
I know, I know it’s hard

the meteor may never come
but there are songs yet to be sung
the meteor is slow to fall
but you and I talk through it all

the meteor may never come
but there are songs yet to be sung
the meteor is slow to fall
but you and I talk through it all

Kyoto

for my dad

The stones that we left there are calling to me
Have they grown into boulders? Or rolled to the sea?

It’s a myth, oh father,
that we carry these stones
But the memory heals us,
so we’re no more alone

You show me the water splashed up on the stones
You bring out the beauty in Earth’s grey-green bones

It’s a myth, oh father,
that we carry these stones
But the memory heals us,
so we’re no more alone

So we’re no more alone

MeYouUs

he kneels over me
all anger and silence
I know I should leave
but I feel so frightened

you kneel next to me
all lovely and caring
I know I should stay
but this is so scary
but I feel so wary

I’ve kept it safe within my memory
the pain of his sin
threatens me, and you, and us

here I stand
trudging through hell
before we began
I buried myself

it’s not yours to hold
but you’ll be the witness
this thing is cold
but I won’t let it freeze us
I won’t let it freeze us

I’ve kept it safe within my memory
the pain of his sin
threatens me, and you, and us
me, and you, and us

Breathe

mug of tea, you sit there so silently
you make it look easy
to simply be

maple tree, bending in the breeze
you seem so happy
you seem so free

I’m not looking for much – just a little relief,
just a hunger for touch.

And a place I can breathe,
a place I can be happy.

river wide, taking life in your stride
you have nowhere to hide
where do you go to cry?

winter ice, preserving the night
you seem so calm inside
where do your traumas lie?

I’m not looking for much – just a little relief,
just a hunger for touch.

And a place I can breathe,
a place I can be happy.

I’m not looking for much – just a little relief,
just a hunger for touch.

And, as I stand by this dream,
I finally can be free.

More Than Us

inspired by the squirrels living in our ceiling

I have dreams about large animals
lounging in the rafters
smiling down at me with their kind eyes
lifting feathers with their sighs

the footsteps in my ceiling
they keep me up at night
I imagine they belong to gentle bears
or doves in quiet pairs

this house is home to more than us
but we’ll never see their glorious

asleep behind the table there
aglow with dreams of steadfast care
this house is home to more than u
s

I wake up to the dinosaurs
trudging through the yard
crying tears and tears and tears and tears and tears
surprised to end up here

polar bears and elephants
otters kissing lambs
I can hear their heartbeats pressed against the walls
I listen for their calls

this house is home to more than us
but we’ll never see their glorious

asleep behind the table there
aglow with dreams of steadfast care
this house is home to more than us