26 Sep Chapter 01: The Foundation
I’m lucky to have a lot of stamps on my passport. I’ve seen the sun slowly slouch behind the mountains on a sticky summer night in Peru, discovered unthinkable shades of blue while sailing the Alaskan seas, and felt my heartbeat pulsate with the rhythms of Buddhist chants in Bali.
In all the places I’ve traveled, I’ve witnessed pain as a human constant. I realize that sounds discouraging. Yet throughout my journeys, I also found a counterpart to that universal pain, a more enduring sense of togetherness that spiritually binds people and breeds enduring hope.
The term “community” has been diluted for decades, especially here in America. It’s slapped on posters for luxury condo developments in rapidly-gentrifying neighborhoods, parroted plastically by divisive politicians, and read robotically by evening newscasters who offer faux-outrage in exchange for attention.
Consequently, it’s easy to hear a word like that and immediately dismiss it. Sometimes, we’ve stockpiled so much cynicism that we numb ourselves from understanding the root meaning of the words we’re ingesting.
Sometimes, we need a tangible example to remind us that some words are worth reclaiming and putting stock in, even at the risk of being earnest.
I was struck with that thought as I spent an afternoon watching a group of fishermen pull in the day’s haul on the shores of Sri Lanka. Compared to modern mechanisms of fishing, their tools were rudimentary, their catch total paltry. But as I watched them tend to the net as a unit — calloused hands working in aerobic syncopation – I realized how little I understood what real “community” was all about.
It’s a potent memory that I’m grateful to carry with me, and it’s what we drew from when we made “Take Away The Pain.” Whenever my mind gets flooded with resentment, I load up that track and walk around my vibrant little slice of Queens, in search of people courageous enough to trust each other. They’re the ones who make the mundane moments shine a little brighter.
Finally, a massive Thank you! to my tribe, my beautiful community of talented creators that made this song be, well, the song that it is! It’s such a gift and I’m so grateful to work with these lights, Danielle Parente and Sage Atwood (@danielleparente @sageatwood) to write, produce, arrange and mix this tune. Vermont cabins, bulldogs and black coffee. Much love.
P.S. If you dig this jam, pass it along to someone who needs it!