This song is a conversation across time between a present-day, reasonably happy and well-adjusted protagonist and his pseudo-suicidally-depressed earlier self.
The mature version reaches back over the decades to hopefully assure the younger version that circumstances can and will get better. But there’s a subtext that darkness—and the neurochemical reality of depression—lurks in the shadows, and can return unexpectedly if not managed.
If you want to hear just the song without the video, you may find it on Apple Music, Spotify, or CD Baby. (It may also be available on other streaming music services.)
Below are the lyrics. You may also see these in the context of the song if you enable closed-captions in the video above.
Pictures from Bridges
A million years ago you grappled with your plight
The existential pain of a life
The Great Unknown was nigh
And complications were running high
You contemplated darkening night with your flight
But something turned you back to the light
A premonition of the hope and joy that were to come
Your people and your purpose here
Now, like a tree, you know
Seasons are the way it goes
Riding out your storm while you sing to the breeze
A lovesong that you learned from the night
Pictures from bridges overgrown
Memory of a future unknown
Song of a million years ago
Painted in a cave in Lascaux
Pictures from bridges made of stone
Pictures from bridges haunt me
Pictures from bridges haunt me
In January of 2019 I made a painting I call Happy Valley. It’s 6 by 8 inches, and made with acrylic paint on watercolor paper. It now lives in a private collection in New York.
“Happy Valley” is a pet name for the Pioneer Valley region of Western Massachusetts, which is a wonderful place to live.
In May we had an opportunity to visit family in Independence, Missouri (a lovely place, and the hometown of President Harry S. Truman). There were plenty of sights to see and things to do around town (“the Square”—#lovethesquare), but on one of our days we drove west for two hours to Strong City, Kansas.
There, we took a tour of the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve. Our guide told us that we might see some American bison (a.k.a., buffalo) roaming around. As our schoolbus-style tour bus crested a hill, we were treated to this surprise. A twenty-five-mile view and a herd of more than two dozen bison lolling around in the Kansas sun.
The prairie is awe-inspiring—thank goodness for the National Park Service for protecting this swath of it. If you have an inclination or an opportunity to check it out, I recommend it.
This was an interesting year in terms of weather. Winter wasn’t particularly harsh, and there wasn’t as much snow as there had been in previous years.
But April was brutal and damp. People seemed to be ready for spring, but Mother Nature had a different plan. Just as we were beginning to dust off our bicycles, hiking shoes, and gardening tools, multiple snow squalls and chilly temperatures sent us scrambling back to our cozy indoors.
On the bright side, we were treated to beautiful views—dramatic, darkened skies punctuated by glimpses of much-craved sunshine.
But that was April. Now it’s May, and springtime is here.
There’s a lot that can be said about the year 2017. I prefer to focus on the positive, and it’s easier for me to do so through images than words. So here’s a gallery of photos I took in 2017. Many of these images I’ve already posted on Facebook or Instagram, but it’s nice to have them all together here in a commercial-free environment. I hope you enjoy them.
Recently, for personal enrichment, I completed an online photography course taught by the legendary artist Annie Leibovitz. I am enjoying learning more about photographing people, and I’m looking forward to taking my photography to a new level in 2018.
Interested in purchasing prints or a license to republish any of these photos? Get in touch.
A short film documenting the felling of a tree.
There was a tree in my yard that was leaning about 20 degrees off its vertical axis. Years ago—maybe decades—someone who lived here before me had apparently used this poor tree as a fencepost. There was a three-inch wide ring carved out of the bark a couple of feet above the ground, extending around the girth of the tree. I feared that someday a combination of heavy snow and strong wind would bring the tree crashing down, crushing one or more of my peach trees, and possibly taking out a corner of my barn. I knew I needed to fell the tree, before it fell on its own terms. Because of its height, I knew I needed to take the tree down in sections.
I thought about calling a professional tree service, but in the spirit of Matthew B. Crawford’s excellent book Shop Class as Soulcraft—wanting to be “a master of my own stuff”—I set about to do the job on my own. I already had the necessary tools on hand, and I didn’t want to spend money on something I thought I could reasonably do on my own. (Don’t worry, when I need a new roof I will call a pro.) I won’t lie—there were moments when I questioned the wisdom of doing this job myself. But now it is done, and I am pleased with how it turned out. I filmed the process and edited it down to a bite-sized nugget of a film, which I hope you enjoy.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go:
- Take a shower
- Sharpen my chainsaw blade (there’s a rotary tool bit for that)
- Make dozens of wood-burned log slice trivets as gifts for my friends and family (and for my Etsy shop)
- Split logs for next year’s firewood
- Make chainsaw sculptures
- Plant some new trees, to replenish the stock
- All of the above.