Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
Just been staring out at a matte gray afternoon now for the past two hours. It was a little better than gray for the four hours before that. There's a big sea of a parking lot that seems to be reflecting the sky's coloring out there right now. It's just bounces back a big high five, like it really gives a damn. It's supposedly nice out there, despite the drab look. Vaguely do I remember what it was like, as everything I've known for a while now has been the ever-present kiss of the air-conditioning.
The impression I get from today is one that could be thrown right into the garbage disposal, ground up and sent into the pipes will all the other crap we don't want to see again. It's just waste matter. Most days and most scenery pass the way these do - of little consequence. They may as well have never existed, we noticed them so little. There's no thrill of the grass, no spectacular light flitting off the trees and dancing upon the ground. There's nothing for us to exaggerate, to be awed at. It could just be that we're so easily unimpressed, but then we hear a band like The Soil and the Sun, and we understand that most days we're just not seeing the right things, or we've just not surrounded ourselves with the appropriate choir.
The Grand Rapids, Michigan group, fronted by Alex McGrath, paints memorable walks through places known for solitude, places known for uncontaminated water, wild flowers and grasses and flattened beds that are still warm from the deer that slept on them the night before. They make you blush with the ways that they're able to tie all of the most natural of beauties together into these significant and lush songs. We realize that today was nothing. We should get out more.
*Essay originally published August, 2012