'Sounds Like the Song of Life on the First Day of Spring''

March 21, 2022

Here’s a love song.

The past two years have done a pretty good job of trying to pull us apart. But as we (hopefully) come out the other side of this, I’m struck by how many relationships, families, and communities actually seem stronger than ever now. If you had asked me two years ago what would happen if me and my partner Julie were forced to both work from home for two years in our one-bedroom apartment, I probably wouldn’t have guessed that we’d end up engaged to be married, but here we are! I think we both feel very lucky. As hard as this time has been, we’ve learned a lot and have some good memories to hold on to (some of which made it into this song).  

The “first day of spring” I’m referring to in this song isn’t March 21st, the official first day of spring. To me, the first day of spring is more of a moment of awareness that is unique to each person every year. It’s that moment when you become conscious that life is everywhere again – it’s coming up from the ground, it’s growing off the trees, it’s the bugs all around your head, it’s the birds singing – the whole damn thing is vibrating! It always feels like magic to me, and even though it happens year after year, it always somehow manages to surprise and inspire wholly.

I was expecting this song to come out at a unique time when something like that moment of spring was happening two-fold, both on a societal and a natural level. But then things started to go sideways in Europe. It seemed like we were being presented with a new darkness and winter wasn’t over yet. I was worried that this song might seem trite in light of that fact. But then I decided that no matter how many times, and how many different ways, we say things like “the darkest hour is just before the dawn” and “hope springs eternal” it never loses its relevance or its power. So, I decided to just go ahead and say it again.

In case you’re wondering who the people are in this video, I don’t know. I got all the clips from The Prelinger Collection, which is an archive of ephemeral public domain video (mostly old home movies). I just tried to find moments in the films that seemed to match the lyrics or general sentiment of the song.

As usual, thanks to Andrew Collins for not only recording this, but also for playing the lovely mandolin part throughout.

Chris Coole - Vocals/Guitar

Andrew Collins - Mandolin

Recorded, Mixed, Mastered - Andrew Collins

Thanks to everyone who joined in on the fundraiser for The Canadian Red Cross Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Appeal that was connected with this release. All proceeds from the download of this track from March 21 - April 1 were donated, and together we raised $3460! 


'Upon the Mystery'

December 10/2021

Although explaining this song goes directly against the advice I was given in its second verse...

The past couple of years left me with lots of free time to listen, read, and think about what some people way smarter than me had to say about some heady topics such as free will, consciousness, luck, and fate. I’ll spare you the gory details, except to say that I would never get very far, and any progress I made was ephemeral. It seems like you don’t have to dig too deeply on most subjects before you reach a solid foundation of mystery, at which point for me it becomes a bit of a “choose your own adventure”. Although I think there is a lot of beauty and inspiration in that fact, it wasn’t the revealing light that I was needing for the moment I was in.

The one exception to this was gratitude. It seemed the more I thought about the idea of gratitude, the less mysterious it seemed. I’ve always been on board with being grateful for what you have, but the “practice” of gratitude always seemed a bit abstract to me - and to be honest, maybe a bit cheesy - something for the pages of an Oprah or Martha Stewart magazine (no offense Oprah). Still, I found myself thinking about it more and more, until eventually, it became a daily ritual. Again, I’ll spare you the gory details except to say that the experience was transformative, and it turned out to be exactly the revealing light I was needing for the moment I was in.

Although the act itself really isn’t much more than common sense, I’ve come to find the outsized power that this simple act seems to have, to be a mystery unto itself. In that sense, maybe I’m right back where I started - standing on, leaning on, and looking out “upon the mystery” …but with a tool I trust to help with its navigation.