Chris van Leuven spent quite a bit of time at our house in high school, so much so that I often thought of him as the third sibling in the family. Things at his house weren’t going that well, we gathered, but neither my brother nor I asked many questions. Instead, we would bring him home after our afternoon sessions at the local boulders or climbing gym. We’d let his endless stream of words, spoken in such animated, rapid succession that anyone else would have struggled to comprehend, melt into our own stories from the day. Often, all three of us would be speaking at the same time, but that didn’t hinder our understanding.
In the Spring of 1996, I was just finishing my first year of college in Montreal while Chris was actually living our high school dream of dirtbagging in Yosemite Valley. Nicknamed Maverick, of course he did it with unconventional flair: in a company tuxedo, serving as host in the Ahwahnee dining room, often running down off a climb to pull the disgustingly-grimy-on-the-inside “white” tuxedo shirt over his still-sweaty torso.
I found this video sometime in March or April and I’ve been meaning to post it since then, though there’s so much more about it that hits home now:
So many reasons to love someone; so many people to love for specific, incomplete reasons; so much hair-pulling over whether or not the “right person” (if there even is one) can ever meet all expectations; the combination of fear and relief inherent in choosing to extract oneself from that binary way of thinking; and wide-eyed wonder at the paradoxical experience of feeling simultaneously so free and so committed.
But mostly it delights me that my Dancing, Philosophy model human (see 0.33-0.36 in the video) doesn’t come in a box, that he doesn’t have an off button, and that he is moving with me to New Zealand.
As a words person, I’m frantically trying to learn the language it takes to describe the sonic landscapes that are really doing it for me these days, and thanks to everyone who’s been patient with me in trying to get more of it into my system (Evan Scott Matt and for the Flume tip, Samyak)!
It’s got all the swelling instrumentation, sweet layered vocals, and slow-attack bass of this:
One of the things I really appreciate about live performances, and especially intimate ones like last night’s, is that we get to experience all the work that we hear the results of but never get to see on the records: the load-in, the sound checks, the broken strings and forgotten lyrics, the moments of accidental ear-piercing feedback, and the communication between the musicians and people like Jeremy Harris behind the soundboard supporting Sandy’s.
Sometime back in 2012 or so, Geoff played this record for me:
About a month ago I listened to Scott’s Ethereal Drifting mix again for the first time in a while and I cracked right open starting at about 13:30 (start from 7:06 for a good entry point for the connection I’m making here, but please listen to the whole thing at some point!):
They’re blooming like crazy this year and they show up everywhere; not only all over Marin but there’s also one just beyond Mike & Penny’s backyard fence in the Richmond, SF. This is the same group of buckeyes trees whose about-to-bust-out blossoms I noted earlier. I love them.
I’m going to see Andrew Bird tomorrow night, so I’m trying to catch up on his latest… but since discovering this duet I’ve barely been able to focus on anything else. What a spot-on depiction of That sort of conversation, gah!
Big changes in the physical landscape never fail to put “big” changes in my life into perspective; this week, it’s been calming to think about seasonal shifts that affect West Marin.
In case a diagram like this didn’t appear in your high school and college textbooks, here you go:
On my way to work yesterday there were so many egrets hunting I pulled over to watch for a bit – there’s clearly more life in the lagoon these days. The Spring Winds have started, and Sito was telling me that the water temperature dropped dramatically over the last week. Then Sam posted this amazing piece… it’s all connected.