Through the Hourglass

It was Thanksgiving last week, and I put off songwriting all week. The deadline to submit for #songaweek2021 is midnight Saturday. Around 4:30 Saturday I sat down to give it a shot. Nathan was nearby and wanted to collaborate so we tossed around a few ideas. Then I started strumming this song’s chord progression and spitting out nonsense words until I got to the title phrase of this song – “through the hourglass.”

At first it felt depressing to Nathan – everything falling through the hourglass, nothing to hold on to. To me the idea felt freeing – nothing in the past, including that moment right there that just whizzed past you – oh, and that one, and here comes – and goes – another one – nothing can define you or keep its hold on you.

We wanted to play with a “through the looking glass” allusion and Nathan was also struck by the idea that our actual lives are lived in the neck of the hourglass. Above and below us the glass is curved and it distorts our perceptions. So our last verse we played with the “wonderland” concept, lyrically and melodically. Which, the longer I live, rings so true. The passage of time just feels capricious and illogical. And I might as well enjoy the wild adventure of it – open my heart and my hands to give love a place to land for a while.

A disclaimer – because we were so close to the deadline and didn’t want to spend all evening on recording, I did a quick and rough phone recording only. Would have loved to add more instrumentation and vocal harmonies but ah well . . . time.

The way it was
the way it is
the way we wish
that it could be
The things we said
the things we did
the things that make
our history

Let them fall through the hourglass

The plans and schemes
the hopes and dreams
The big ideas
About everything
The roads we took
The ones we left
The bitter ends
And bright beginnings

Feel them flow through the hourglass

One two three four five six seven eight nine ten [6x]

So here we are
In wonderland
Where nothing ever stays
Quite where you laid it
But open hearts
And open hands
Are some of love’s
Most favorite resting places

All things pass through the hourglass

Matter of Time

We’ve been in a Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers sort of mood around the house lately – Nathan and I just finished watching the fabulous Runnin Down a Dream documentary with our 17-year-old Luthien who is deep into schooling herself in the history of rock and roll, especially 90s music. (You can watch that documentary free at the Crackle link I attached to it!)

All that to say, I owe a good deal of the sound of this song to Tom and the band. The song itself came together surprisingly quickly; it felt as if I’d been carrying around this nebulous muck that got heavier over the winter, and somehow getting myself inside the head of the thing that was messing around in my head turned into this incredibly freeing, actually joyful-feeling rock song about aging and decay and everything as I know it falling apart.

Oh and Nathan added a plethora of guitar tracks, drums and bass (and he sang!) which certainly added to the joy for both of us in making this song! This is what being 45 feels like today, and I’m quite alright with it.

Week 9, #songaweek2021. I actually used the week’s prompt too, verbatim in the bridge (“you could turn back but why would you want to”). You can also download the song for free at our Cabin of Love bandcamp page –

You’ve got sparkle, you’ve got spunk
You’ve got apocalyptic piles of pixie punk
I’m gonna dumb you down and lay you low
You won’t believe what hit you but I think you’ll know

Take it easy, it’s just a matter of time
Don’t take it personally, I’m gonna mess with your mind

Now you’re older, you think you’re so smart
You’re just a rusted cage around a broken-down heart
I’m gonna chill your bones and haunt your dreams
With ghosts of chances and washed-up schemes

Take it easy, it’s just a matter of time
Don’t take it personally, I’m gonna mess with your mind

You could turn back but why would you want to?
Nothing to see but visions of what might have been

So what you got now? What you gonna do
With whatever is left, is left up to you
I’ll keep right on rolling like I always do
And for a little while I might remember you

Take it easy, it’s just a matter of time
Don’t take it personally, I’m gonna mess with your mind
Take it easy, it’s just a matter of time
Don’t take it personally, nobody said I was kind

Living (Catch My Breath)

It’s a bit hard to believe, but here I am posting the very last week’s song for #songaweek2018. Week 52’s suggested theme was “forest” and I did find a way to use it.

I stole a morning from a busy Christmas week schedule (played hooky from two of our numerous extended family events) and wrote this song, which was obviously influenced by the intense week of socializing!

Happy new year to all, and to all a quiet night 😉

I can’t see anything
Not the forest or the trees
just trying to catch my breath
And let it go again
You can’t say anything
That could make me lose my nerve
I’m just going to catch my breath
And let it go again

I’m living
I’m living
I’m living here

False starts and broken hearts
Somehow keep true love alive
You’ve just got to catch your breath
And let it go again

I’m living . . . now

Halfway to the end
think I’ll start again

Now I see everything
All the forest all the trees
just when I catch my breath
I let it go again
You can say anything
still won’t make me lose my nerve
I know how to catch my breath
And let it go again

I’m living . . . here

Each day brings songs to sing
hands to hold and roads to run
Just let me catch my breath
And let it go again

I’m living . . . now

So She Sang

I got a piano! And this is the first song I wrote on it. I started with the first line and just tried to follow it through without too much analyzing. As I moved into the third verse (“she got lost to find her way”), I began to think about my grandmother who for the past few years has been living with increasing dementia. The song isn’t specifically about her, but in retrospect I think she’s there throughout. (Here’s a song I wrote for her 80th birthday if you’d like to see and learn a little more about her.)

Here’s my song for week 37 of #songaweek2018:

So she sang to hear the tune
She waited all morning for afternoon
And now the evening is drawing soon
All in the twinkling of an eye

We are birds that none can tame
Wild-haired children lost in our game
Moths drawn to circle eternal flames
All for a moment in the sun

We turn on an axis of wishes and prayers
While we hope against hope for the best
We dance till we can’t keep our feet on the ground
Till we float like a very last breath

She got lost to find her way
Abandoned the order of yesterday
And left her memories as they lay
All in a jumble in her mind

Oh the wind is in the trees
She cradles their seedlings upon her breeze
And where she lays them there they will be
All in the dark before the dawn

Still Got It

Being over 40 is strange. One week I get hit on by a store employee, the next I’m given the senior discount without being asked about it (and I live in a back-asswards society that tends to see the second situation as more offensive than the first!). It seems to depend on what I’m wearing, how my hair is done – I’m a chameleon at this age. I can hide my youth, I can hide my age. I’m in the middle, middle-aged.

I started writing this song when I was out for a run at the end of February two days after the second big snowstorm in a week. The sick-of-winter time of year. I haven’t run much the past month or two because there’s been so much ice, so I was feeling out of shape and a bit cranky at first. But the sun was shining, and I got into my groove, and I discovered, I’ve still got it!

It doesn’t matter what you think when you look at me; if I know I got it, I got it. “It” is something we are all born with, and can joyfully exhibit for our whole lives. It can shine through for that brief part of life when we match our youth-crazed culture’s definition of attractive, but it’s way more than that.

I spent the last couple weeks watching the Winter Olympics, all those toned young bodies, and the “old” ones slightly over 30 wistfully discussing the end of their careers. I think, oh you cuties, there’s so much ahead of you, you’ve only just begun!

But that’s only if you want to.

Here’s my song for week nine of #songaweek2018:

I’m just a little bit thick in the head and the middle
Just a little bit sick of playing second string fiddle
But don’t you worry bout me boy
I’ve still got my voice
Don’t feel bad for me my sweet
I’ve still got my feet
And they know how to go

I’ve still got it
Down to the soles of my feet
I’ve still got it
I’m more than what you see

She’s just a little further back on the same road as me
When she gets to where i’m at I think she’ll get what I mean
Aw, don’t you worry bout me dear
I’m still breathing here
Don’t go crying for me honey
I’ve even got a little money

I’ve still got it
Down to the soles of my feet
I’ve still got it
I’m more than what you see

So don’t you worry bout me son
I still know how to run
Don’t you worry bout me dude
I’ve still got it pretty good

I’ve still got it
Down to the soles of my feet
I’ve still got it
I’m so much more than what you see