Conversation with my past self OR The story behind the song "Wandering"...20 years later.

May 2, 2017

Ah, the late 90's. That glorious time when the music industry was thriving. Also, when I landed an audio engineering internship gig at a very prominent studio in Miami, Fl. It churned out so many internationally renowned artists, radio hits, soundtracks & records that producers were swimming in work. But, I digress...this is the story about a song. 

 


In a dark cold room, warmly lit by lava-lamp (truly. it is even featured in the percussion tracks played with a wooden spoon found in the studio kitchen along with kettle and some broken drum stick,,,or was it a pencil?) I sat hunched over my journal scribbling stream of consciousness with black ink. (Always black ink.) Scratching words out and flipping through pocket thesauruses, dictionaries and rhyme books to order messy feelings with emotional word math. They were mostly groans, some call this singing, that bubbled up from places that were too small to hold on to such large burdens. 

 

Honestly, my default setting at the time was- worry. Always worried. Though on the outside, I just looked like some Gen X Wynona. Cool, apathetic yet very approachable. I was a dutiful cable wrapping, recall recording, coffee making, food running, patch baying intern by day and songwriter, artist in development, musician, singer by night. That studio became my home. I lived one hour west by my trusty tiny moped...which at max speed could hit 40 mph if the winds hit me just right. I was not making a penny. I did not feel like I fit the mold of a "pop singer/songwriter". I'm sure the constant comments about my looks, weight and sound didn't help. But, in some ways they did. There were a few safe people to whom I stuck close by. And, to this day am grateful for their enduring friendship and mentorship. But, back then...I lived on my scooter and in the studio. I snuck showers in the sink some days and always had a few bags packed with essentials just in case there was an event, meeting or surprise Sony Music President visit (but that's another story for another time). 

 


It was a complicated time in my life as I felt like I belonged nowhere. Much like now. I suppose somethings just keep coming around. There was no time to get all low about the state of things...especially when I had a chance to do what I loved. To take the sounds in my head and pull them out to share. The adversity was met with grit and determination. Always with a smile. I still have that smile. It's mine. No one can have it, yet everyone is welcome to it. 

 


So, this song was born out of the heat and pressure that is the combination of Miami, the industry, conformity demands, judgement, advances and the general "searching" that seems to never subside. Searching for a tribe, a place to make a difference, a place to both learn and teach, people to encourage and be encouraged by. It was a risk. Some things never change.

 

It is a song arranged, written, recorded and performed resourcefully and honestly. A transparent expression of the all and nothingness of it all. The singular and plural taking up the same space. The possibility and the absence, unified. Much like what I see in just about everything. As I look upon the last 40 years of my life then look forward toward the horizon set before me...this song is a message from the past for my NOW self to acknowledge my weariness. And, that it is okay to be so...it is a sign of hard work. It is a cue to resonate with this common tone that we've been tuned to in this strange world we've found ourselves in. It reminds me to continue being transparent & authentic. Do not hide. Do not run. Do not become numb by the grey and dull world around me. The cycling back of this refrain is a lesson & a yearning for freedom, sincerity, acceptance, a generous dose of belief (both given and received, as they are the same thing) and most of all to see beyond the facade & to be seen beyond others' filters. 

 

Click here to listen to WANDERING

 

Lyrics:

 


Can see no lines, even when they're drawn
Just a hazy kind of fading, like dusk & dawn
Where there's no way to define, even if you squint
And no label to be assigned, no brand to imprint


At home nowhere, my soul will never stop
Still, at home everywhere, my destination can't be plot


Now I'm wandering, wandering-Neither here no there
wandering, wandering- in a state so rare
wandering, wandering- becoming all in one
wandering, wandering- into oblivion


Can't be placed in a box & put on show
Even if it is caught, it will never go
Can't be stopped it'll always follow through
It keeps going not knowing where it's going to


At home nowhere, my soul will never stop
Still, at home everywhere, my destination can't be plot


Now I'm wandering, wandering
Neither here no there
wandering, wandering, in a state so rare
wandering, wandering, becoming all in one
wandering, wandering, into oblivion


Won't be put in a file to make them comfortable (get in the file)
Or put on a smile as I scream to be let go (put on a smile)
Can't be kept in a place where I don't fit in (get in your place)
Begging to be understood but still they don't give in (leave me some space)


Now I'm wandering, wandering-Neither here no there
wandering, wandering- in a state so rare
wandering, wandering- becoming all in one
wandering, wandering- into oblivion
wandering, wandering-Neither here no there
wandering, wandering- in a state so rare
wandering, wandering- becoming all in one
wandering, wandering- into oblivion

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