Meet me when the moon gets full
At the tail end of what would’ve been merely my latest lengthy bout of glorified homelessness, chasing someone else’s song around the world and writing as I often do from an airplane in flight, a woman who seemed to have been drunk for days decided to ask if I was going home, and I decided that I didn’t know. My year, and this new batch of songs, had begun with my head on the floor of a yoga studio a few doors down from the room where I cut my last record, my heart broken open by some lost love or another, as hearts tend periodically to be, and it was about to end with more songs and even less sense of permanence or place.
I’d fled the unchanging dry desert air of Los Angeles for the second winter in a row, to search for songs that might be worth my while in the snow. I found my home as always at the piano, behind the drums, in clouds of incense and smoke, singing until my voice was gone and so was the wine and the weed and whatever drugs we could find and it was all that I could do to sleep on the couch in the control room and wake up in a daze wanting more - more sound, more inspiration, more motion, more embrace of this lack of place, more songs to call my home in the absence of real shelter.
For their time and their talents I’d given my friends as much of last year’s money as I could, stayed up all night celebrating what felt like a finished work, and woken up at the studio one more time with one more song and a ticket booked to wander west and mix the songs in the sun of Southern California with the full moon overhead.
With all that done and my spirits high from what seemed like love and looked like a reunion, I flew back into a snow so deep that cars spun in circles in front of me as I drove toward a two week marathon recording session with my oldest bandmates, a secret sequel to some smoke signals we'd sent out from Silverlake some seven seasons or so ago.
With songs burning holes in my otherwise empty pockets I set off again for the west, through a Nashville night I’ll never forget with the two wizards who’d end up producing the record with me in the end, into two days of a Denver daze I didn’t want to leave and legal marijuana left me hypnotized enough to believe I needed not navigate far from.
I settled in for a short stint of living with a sixty-something psychopath and lunatic landlord and wrote some songs on my bandmate’s old piano in the garage when we weren’t mixing our Southern Connecticut songs with Southern California sunshine streaming in. I fell in love under another full moon and from the depths of the desert in April our band started seven months straight of space exploration as a song about a satellite turned us all into satellites ourselves.
I lost my place and nearly lost all of the money I had left, while temporary stays in rented guest houses and kind friends’ couches and spare rooms kept me going in between airports and taxis and stages and hotels and trailers from Texas to Tokyo.
I became, more and more each day, a willing external caricature of the wilderness I’d long witnessed within, and in which I now found myself wandering.
And one day along the way, I booked myself the first of many flights and all-night cross-country drives to Nashville to reconnect with some of my favorite mystical and musical minds to sift through the rubble of these years on the road and make a record of the ride.
At the risk of truly becoming the main character of a cautionary tale about the boy who cried new record, today I cobble together these notes found in journals from the journey, to send a postcard to you all and make public the reality that the first of these songs, a mantra I found for myself underneath one of many of the last few years’ magic full moons, will be out everywhere in just a couple short weeks, somewhere in the early stages of the next moon getting full.
It is a song straight from the center of my being, where the time runs in circles on a spiraling calendar of changing tides and lunar phases.
It is a shout into the void when one lover is climbing across the table, into the abyss, an echo of longing that reaches its intended no matter the path, no matter the amount of time that fate or coincidence allows us to have.
(It is the train whistle down the street perfectly dropping some chord whose name I don’t know into the Glass floating out through the screen window.)
It is thinking you’ve mended your heart or allowed yourself the time to grow, and rushing back out from the forest through a fog to a familiar feeling of home.
It is falling in love again and again and learning to care less about how long it lasts or how it might get lost or how I might too, and remembering to just jump in without worry.
My reminder for patience all along the path to true contentment- to never wait and to always be waiting…
My dad used to say to me in some sort of paraphrase of a children’s book he read to me at bedtime when I was a little boy, “wait till the moon is full.” I took the full moon with me through my life spent more and more on the road, a circular reminder of the cycle of desire - fulfillment or lack thereof.
When I first set this batch of songs spinning I unknowingly wrote myself a meditation for the long road ahead - for those nights when we looked up at the sky to find that magically, the moon happened to be full on the night we’d booked the studio, and for the day last week when I realized I’d decided we’d release the first single from the record when the moon was, in fact, not full at all.
Meet me when the moon is full. There’s a lot more to share on next week’s full moon, but the meaning, for me, of this phrase, this song and this record, is that there is always another full moon on the way, always more magic to be made, always more mystery bursting at the seams willing itself to unfold, through which we can all grow. Always more love to made from within, always more love to be found outside, around the next corner.
I’ll be writing here on this new website throughout this year’s touring - documentation I’ve always done but rarely shared. I think of it as dispatches from the in-between phases, moon not quite full and always new, signals sent from the interior of the chrysalis, the babbling of a butterfly becoming.
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for listening and joining.