Its been too long since we’ve spoken, friend. Winter ebbs in these rural locales between spring-like balminess imbued with croaking frogs and a bitter chill that robs the skies and fields of all discernible color. My walks through the neighborhood at night have become lengthier affairs, stepping from pooled yard lights outside of shotgun shacks to flank the dwelling darkness of the patches of forest, the distant freeway droning beneath the languid wind. The other night, I saw a black rabbit dart from beneath a rusted and decaying trailer, taking no notice of me as it fled towards some nearby holler.
I am, in some manners, becoming healthier than ever, more active and energetic, less waylaid by malaise and apathy. Work towards any endless number of artistic projects, not all of them musical, continues while I struggle to reimpose a sensible sleep schedule on my routine, still finding myself up through orange dawn, to be asleep in the thick of the afternoon. Meanwhile, a virus is stalking the land, facing government suppression, frightening musicians into abandoning tours and festival promoters into pulling the plug, the schools draining of children while supermarkets empty of emergency supplies. These are strange and eerie times, an entire year’s worth of exhausting and numbing events compressed into the first two months of the year of our lord, 2020. Every day conjures a new and unprecedented surrealism, a lingering dread draped shimmering from sky to sky.
So I listen to doom metal and climb the hill to the cow pasture, vast constellations and satellites wheeling high above my steps, the occasional flake of snow or drop of rain staining the pavement. At the crest of the hill behind our property, the distant pole lights flanking the dairy farm’s silos tremble and distort in the murky haze. From this vantage point, I am aware only of a future that is mysterious and wondrous in equal measure, and that plans are foolish in the face of grinding, inexorable fate.