I woke up in the early morning dark in a funky old $600 a month apartment above the old El Rey theater downtown. Aware of it being at least $200 more than I could afford, I couldn't resist the second floor view of the park through two almost floor to ceiling wavy glass windows. I needed something to make me want to get up every morning; to make it not seem like I was an idiot to leave a fifteen year marriage and a house I had painted by hand inside and out.
Substitute teaching by day and occasional music gigs in the evening formed the new daily book ends of my life. I had no idea how I was going to support myself, and the first holiday season as a divorcee cast an eerie glow like a flickering string of old Christmas bulbs. Though the big tree in the park’s lights usually turned off in the middle of the night, I could see them faintly glowing in the morning fog when I stood directly at the windowsill. It got to me.
I sat on my bed and wrote out the lyrics to “Scarlet Silence” in one sitting. Then, grabbed the guitar and tried out the new picking style I’d been working on to give my simple songwriting style a little spice.
So the saying goes,
darkest before the dawn
wake up early,
find Christmas lights still on,
and the cars go slowly, slowly,
walkers make their way
on the radio, holy, holy,
it’s another holiday…..
It’s a song that captures the spirit of most of what I write — an acknowledgement of both suffering and the tender love underneath it delivered straight from personal experience and awakenings.
I couldn’t know then what I know now, but in the lyrics I see a good start toward facing the deep pain of lost connection and finding new strength and support in a community of friends and like-minded souls.
Click on the link to listen for free, or pay it forward for a dollar. Either way, I hope you take a moment to enjoy the scarlet silence.