A FATHER'S LAMENT
[From the album Heartland Diaries]
This song has many layers but one theme: family. It was born one day after experiencing unexpected deep grief after dropping one of my daughters to the airport after she visited me from across the country (1997 or 98).
I quickly made my way to the church after that, and installed the sound system upstairs along with a synthesizer. Using the flute sound, which I loved, I tried to replicate the cry of my spirit's longing for family, or more like feeling the pain of being ripped away from it, feeling alone, so terrifyingly alone.
Somehow I feel that the cry reached beyond my daughter leaving, and connected with my own experience of separation from my family as a baby, as I was placed in a foster home for nearly a year due to my mother's postpartum illness. This information came to me decades later, and is an important part of my life story.
When the flute melody was fully born, echoing the tears and heaving pain of my soul, the awareness of a void inside, a broken link from my roots, my place in this world, I then recorded a bit of the piano part that evening.
I continued the painting of the song over the next few months. First with an intro of "reminiscence," then the hammering tragedy of separation, the cry for connection, the longing for community and the fear of it, and finally the resolution of making peace with it, having found my roots despite these events... something I have yet to achieve.