This blog is about a song, and this is the song:


There were nights when I would walk through a deserted Pt. Reyes Station, with Black Mountain looming.  I was 17 or 18, in love with a kid from town and I’d prowl the streets, hoping he’d show up on his bicycle.

Later, when I’d finally accepted the futility of that relationship (only I never really did), I’d still prowl in the dark.

Sometimes into the cowfields where I loved the smell of the grass and faint manure, and sometimes down the streets, especially the street behind the Palace Market, the empty road that butted up to the hills.

There were things I loved that came out of loneliness.  One was the red-winged blackbirds in the fields heading to Nicasio.  Those were the loneliness of daylight.

And the other was the moon full behind Black Mountain, the loneliness of night, black against the midnight sky.

There’s a love for place that embodies loneliness, because it’s a love  you can only have alone.  And there’s a shape of hill, or curve of road and a rustle of wind that loosens the tiniest muscles in your back.

I was dazzled by the bay, by the infinite colors it could shift through in a day.

But I loved the hills. I loved their human shape.

When I left, I knew I was leaving what I loved to learn the skill of trapping my own passion.  I saw the irony.  But I was going to be a composer, and I needed to learn to capture on paper what my mind made wild.

And when I left, I knew I was leaving something I loved.

What I didn’t know was how much it would haunt me. How I would resent the inconsequential rolling, verdent New England hills — because they weren’t the expansive, dry hills of Pt. Reyes.

I started writing this song in my late teens.  I carried it with me, trying to finish it and never able to until about 15 years ago, when I admitted to myself that I was still standing on that road in Pt. Reyes Station.  Still waiting in the dark.

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