Meditation | 006

At Smith Creek | B Minor | Vol. I

Thank you for being here for the sixth installment of this newsletter.1

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I just got back from a very special creative residency at Smith Creek Village, a collection of cabins tucked away in an old-growth, temperate rainforest in Silver Falls State Park in Oregon.2 It was such a special experience — I particularly want to thank Brooke Gerken of Silver Falls Hospitality for making it happen.3

While I was there, I wrote this month’s piece in B minor (the relative minor of last month’s piece in D major). For those of you who have received one of my notes before, you’ve probably already noticed something different today. Instead of the usual audio/photo combo, I thought I would share this song in a video so you could see some of the beauty of the Silver Falls area as I experienced it.

The song was influenced by sun-dappled hikes through frosty woods, immense quiet and solitude, and the little cabin I had the incredible fortune to call home for a bit. Throughout the piece you’ll hear some random field recordings that I took from the surrounding woods, creeks, brooks, and birds.

I invite you to sit with this video, song, and poem below and, if you can, make them a small part of your day, whether that’s your morning ritual, afternoon break, or your evening wind-down. As always, if you feel like it, let me know what you think in the comments. I’d love to hear from you.

Thank you again for being here.


A poem

Final Curve
by Langston Hughes (from Selected Poems of Langston Hughes, 1990)

When you turn the corner
And you run into yourself
Then you know that you have turned
All the corners that are left.


Currently

  • Reading Beloved by Toni Morrison (Powell’s)

  • Listening to Fellowship by serpentwithfeet (Spotify / Apple / Bandcamp)

    • Reminder: I’m putting all the songs shared in the newsletter into this Spotify playlist

  • Enjoying a recent interview with cognitive psychologist/neuroscientist Daniel Levitin about how the brain, and, more specifically, memory, work (The Sun)

  • Planning to attend poet and friend Alice Fogel’s next online reading on 2/16. She’s reading alongside her successor as New Hampshire Poet Laureate, Alexandria Peary (Register free through the Norwich Bookstore in Vermont)

  • Using weekends as true breaks whenever I can (via Austin Kleon)

  • Feeling grateful for my health, family, and friends

What are you reading / watching / thinking about / looking forward to? Let me know in the comments.

Leave a comment


Notes

This month’s music

At Smith Creek in B minor / Recorded in Logic Pro / Written and recorded by Fog Chaser

This month’s visual

Shot on iPhone6s / 4K / 30FPS / All footage shot in the Smith Creek Village area


Thanks for reading and listening! Subscribe for free to receive a new song every month.

1

Some things worth noting:

  1. Some of my songs from this newsletter are out in the world. Click here to listen.

  2. Last month’s piece, An Opening, releases on February 22. Click here to pre-save on Spotify.

  3. If you prefer Bandcamp, I’m starting to share songs there as well.

  4. Gifted Balance Records had some nice things to say about “Seeking / Calling”.

  5. All of the songs from other artists that I share in the “Currently” section are hanging out in this Spotify playlist.

  6. Happy birthday to my Aunt Vikki!

  7. Shoutout to Music Stack / Didion 14.

2

Silver Falls State Park opened in 1933, but this land once belonged to the Kalapuya and Molalla tribes (now the Confederated Tribes of Grande Ronde), whose ancestors came to the Willamette Valley about 14,000 years ago. By the mid-1850s, all of the remaining native people in western Oregon were relocated to reservations.

3

Thank you to the Silver Falls Hospitality staff at Smith Creek Village for making the trip so amazing, especially Brooke — a few folks I got to meet along the way: Nicole, Andrew, Sarah, Lisa, Kaulana, Jim, and Jade. Thank you all for your generous hospitality.