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the letter reader

It is the third time I sit down to record The Letter Reader. The laundry rack has been pushed back, the lights dimmed. There is a flat grey sky outside the windows. The song has changed key three times. I even tried it a capella, the guitar just resting on my knee. The words felt hollow and empty when I heard them playing back. Unlistenable. The struggle is a familiar one - between the glowing idea of something butting up against the reality is presents as it enters the world. We are all famous in our own minds - heroes, geniuses, rock stars and saints. In the real world, we are flabby, and fallible. We are painfully human, and no angels. How to align all of this? How to put yourself in front of a microphone, or an empty piece of paper, an open road, a classroom full of children, an office?

Maybe there are glimpses of greatness. Maybe there are little cracks of something magical, if you wait for them, if you nurture them, if you struggle for them. I often find myself yelling at tv sc…

a new song

I don't have a good explanation for how it happens, just that it does. The guitar may be out of tune. It may be 2 in the afternoon or 3 in the morning. I dig into random piles of notes, fragments, phrases, turns of language. No matter what, it evolves into a confession. Even when you lie, you are telling the truth about something. The admission, the coming clean, it surfaces even when you try to keep it hidden.

Walking in another man's shoes offers a strange freedom. Most of my clothes came from the Salvation Army when I was growing up. I wore other people's suits. Maybe I never stopped.





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