John Denver

There’s a documentary on Netflix called John Denver Remembered, and it’s pretty good. Growing up when I did, with parents who had his albums, his music was an integral part of my life from childhood on. My musical tastes are pretty eclectic. I like hard rock, a little rap, some old Kentucky fiddle music (from hearing it when I was a kid down in the Appalachians), some pop, blues, some jazz, and a lot of folk music. The documentary pointed out how John Denver got some bad reviews back then, even though he was a beautiful balladeer and sold plenty of albums. Got me to thinking that it’s sometimes hard to be a nature-lover and be considered cool. People look at you weird. But I’ve always found his music moving, powerful, and inspirational. I think part of the reason I liked his music so much was because it really celebrated mountains, forests, sunshine, the wide expanse of the sea and the sky. And it was so genuine.

Then he has these gorgeous thoughts that come through his music, about love, relationships, life, and so on. Love “Poems, Prayers, and Promises,” as it kind of reminds me of my life, where he’s just thinking of his life and reminiscing how it felt to pass around a pipe with friends at night by a fire, or how sweet it is to love, how right it is to care. I remember a few years ago we went to Sheridan Lake in the interior with Morgan’s family. We cabin- or tent-camped on that beautiful lake, where we could paddle out to an island that deer like to play at. We kayaked, canoed, hung out. I thought of that time when hearing that song; we would make big bonfires at night and laugh and play the guitar and sing. We “passed the pipe” and drank wine or beer. When the camp owner came out to quiet us down he sat down and took over the guitar and knew a ton of old folksongs. That was a wonderful night. I want a damn bonfire at night with good friends and family again.

Campfire at Loon Bay Resort
Campfire at Loon Bay Resort

Who sings about these things these days? Who does this today? I don’t know anyone anymore outside family.

Today I listened to John Denver while doing almost an hour trail run on Coquitlam River Trail path. Morgan went with me, though kind of paced ahead of me and walked some. He was protecting me from a huge ass raccoon.

It felt really good today, though my pace seems to be slower lately…maybe due to more trails and my shoes needing to be replaced. I think some of it has to do with inconsistent running during my joint/muscle injuries–though now during my second go around with the 10K training program I refuse to walk at all, and I think it makes the overall pace a bit slower because sometimes if you don’t take a break, there is no refreshing pause and a much faster run afterward. Anyhow, right now I’m just going for consistency and the stubborn determination to just…keep…running. Managed over 5K again, including some hills–though the people in my Strava group are saying that on big hills, you’re already into your anaerobic regime, so no matter what you do or how hard you train, your overall pace won’t be that much faster and it’s okay and even more efficient to walk up the steeper hills.

Later, at dusk, I needed to do some grocery shopping, so walked a couple more miles with my rolly cart up to the store and back. It was a nice, cold night, with the mountains very frosty and a chill to the perfectly dark blue night–but at the same time, you can kind of feel spring coming on, so I’m excited about that. I’ve already got my terrarium (cheap old one from Value Village) in hopes to make my herb garden; I don’t think it’ll be hydroponic, but it will be indoors and cat-proof!

Also, something happened this past week; I began a new novel. It could very well end up in the dump like a couple other projects I started, but this one is coming straight from the heart, and I have a distinct idea of exactly where it is going. I’m keeping it simple–no ten-character perspective, no huge crisis like climate change or an oil spill. It’s about a woman who runs (imagine that!), but unlike me she is alone and is afraid to get attached again. I’ve been there, so I know how to write that. I know how to write the running parts. How she meets someone again is interesting, and there is a lot wilderness in the book. I’m only about a tenth of the way in, so the rest is a secret for now.

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