August 5, 2004
Dear Amy and Emily,
So I realized the other day how amazing it is that you both have made such an impact on my life. You've been with me for fifteen years now, and have seen my highest highs and my lowest lows. You have traveled with me all over the world, on foot, down countless roads, on the subway, speeding over the mountains, hiking through the woods. And you've seen me laugh and cry and dance and write and remember and meditate and exercise and read and skip my way down the street. And through all this, I just can't believe that I have never introduced myself.
So, hi. My name is Kerry. I'm twenty-five. I am a performer and a writer. I work with lots of kids. I have a cat and I want a dog. I live in Portland, Oregon. My favorite food in the whole world is chocolate cake.
And I think you guys are pretty great. I admire you so much for writing music that can always reach me. Your lyrics are inspiring and your harmonies make me close my eyes just to listen. I am in awe of your passion and your insight and your poeticism. I am infinitely grateful to have found your music. You have made an impact on the way I perceive the world. You have made a difference in my life.
And so I have decided to thank you by sharing just a few of the times that your music has touched me, has made me feel, and made me dance barefoot in the front yard, hands on my headphones to keep them from flying away.
* * * * *
Peace Tonight… This is my room in 150 Waterman, closing my eyes and dancing. Blasting music, feeling release.
Get Out the Map… Driving around in the summertime, passing corn that grows taller every day, brilliant yellows, cool air coming in through the windows.
Midnight Train to Georgia… Sitting on my bed in New Hampshire, writing in my journal well after my family has gone to bed, writing writing writing. And reaching down to start the song over again.
Love Will Come to You… Leaning against the door in Perkins, wondering if it's true. Nate sat with me and I cried when I couldn't find my keys. He laughed and I did too eventually. I was so tired.
Back Together Again… On a mix to Lindsey when she moved from New Hampshire to Connecticut. We promised that we'd stay friends and, ten years later, we still are.
Language or the Kiss… Walking back from Erik's house at 3am, light summertime air, infinite quietness of a small, sleeping town, crying hard with utter contentedness and the knowledge that things are going to change soon.
Galileo… Driving with just Meghan, right after she got her license. I was eleven. She made mixes that were better than anything else in the world and we listened to them until they got all mumbly and slow.
Joking… Jumping on the bed with little Jessie, three years old. We giggled until we fell over and lay on the bed, smiling at the ceiling.
World Falls… This is zipping up my sleeping bag on the rooftop in Montana, putting on my headphones, and looking at the stars. I was warm and the air was cool on my face.
Hammer and a Nail… Bopping along the streets of Portland, stepping into and out of bookstores, coffee shops, galleries. Sunny day, hoodie wrapped round my waist.
Leeds… This is sitting on the catwalks in Leeds Theatre at school, feeling the early setting sun of a winter afternoon.
Strange Fire… Nate once painted my Zen Board completely black and turned to me, entirely dramatic, and said "this is my heart." We cuddled up on the popasan in the corner and played the song, staying quiet. I could listen to the end of that song, the version on 1200 Curfews, over and over again.
Closer to Fine… Delightedly begging Colin to listen to my guitar playing. I told people I took requests, but only if they guessed what I could play. And this was one of the songs I knew. And "Free Falling." And, oh, the first four notes of "Blackbird."
River… Walking along the streets of Providence, nestled into my ridiculously big coat, avoiding slush puddles and watching the snow fall.
Let it Be Me… Portland, cutting through the park on the way to the market, trying to find my way back to myself.
* * * * *
So thank you. Thank you for helping me find answers. Thank you for always being there when I need you. Thank you for providing a soundtrack for my life.
Here's to many more years of great music.