West Virginia; a song about a journey north.

The thing I love most about creativity is its expansive nature; like that proverbial pebble thrown into a still pond. I don’t remember who said it but this statement has had a lasting effect:

“You can never escape the power of your own influence” -unknown

So true. You may try to live in isolation or convince yourself that your path isn’t intersecting others but you will ultimately fail; it’s just not possible. Even the most remote trail in the wilderness is crossed by inconspicuous observers of the wild. Our influence is felt; good or bad. To think that our choices don’t effect anyone isn’t realistic. We are all connected.

One of the things that I love about being creative is watching those ripples spread in the still pond. I wrote the lyrics to this song in my head while supervising an excavation of gasoline-contaminated soil being removed from a Safeway parking (first ripple). I put these lyrics to music (second ripple), shared my song with two musician friends of mine from San Diego (third ripple) and eventually recorded them in the studio (and so it grows). The finished product took three hours of studio time. That’s pretty remarkable since we hadn’t rehearsed together at all. Even more remarkable, the drum track was laid down by my 13-year-old son. Now I am sharing my story and my music with you, an interested stranger. See, you didn’t even know it, but we have been connected since the day I was standing in that Safeway parking lot. Ripples in a pond.

West Virginia is about a journey north. It is a song inspired by giving up hope on a life that I thought was impossible and being proven wrong. I had made a series of judgements based on past experience that resulted in the final conclusion: impossible. So, I resigned myself to a vagabonds existence of settling for one relationship to the next. Whenever I attempted a new relationship, the thing that I knew was lacking from the beginning would eventually grow into a cloud that blocked out the remaining sunlight and I moved on. I reconciled myself to this fate and I was fine with it.

Then, I got a call about a 2-month contract near Seattle. I practiced rational thought and it all made sense. I had a free place to stay, I needed the money, I could explore a new place for awhile, then I would come back home and figure out what was next. So, I said yes, got in my car and travelled north from San Diego. Shortly after I arrived in Seattle, I was having dinner with some of my family. During our visit, my sister asked about my dating status and if I ever envisioned myself married again. I declared my resignation by answering: “Yes, as long as she is perfect in every way!” It was my light-hearted way of saying that I wasn’t going to settle for less than the very best ever again. About a month later I had a first date with a woman that grounded the vagabond. I found the impossible and she is perfect in every way.

Sometimes I know exactly where I am going and when I get there I am completely surprised by where I am. Maybe you can relate? This song was written about that journey north. Please enjoy West Virginia.

Thanks for taking part. You may also like my song Babymoon.

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