I’m in an intense place this year, healing over the loss of a special friend, and taking from that the lessons this life has to offer. I’m again in that word picture I created in another difficult life moment, where I’m sitting on a rock in a river, the beautiful summer sunlight casting brilliant, blinding diamonds in front of me – intense happiness – but a burning forest is behind me (that is, whatever heartbreak I’ve just faced). I’ve learned in these moments that once I land on that river rock, to focus as much as I can on the hope in front of me and to begin to let go of the destruction at my back.

The soundtrack accompanying me on the journey this summer is also intense and melancholic, and includes one I’ve already mentioned here within my Violet post, Elbow’s New York Morning. It’s a perfect choice given one of my life prescriptions was a very perfect trip to that place, in that song. The journey was a cocktail muddled with friends, love, spoiling, and the very necessary paying of respects at that most tragic NY landmark.

The other soundtrack tent pole is Steven Wilson’s The Raven That Refused to Sing. It is truly one of the most beautiful modern pieces of music, stirring the deepest, shut off places inside me, much like John Rutter’s Requiem did, and still does, since the moment I sang its first bars in 1988. Although I’m a fan of Wilson’s Porcupine Tree, this song coincidentally (and a little ironically) landed in my lap as I well, climbed upon that healing rock. Listen to it, watch the video and if you’re really tracking, read more about Wilson’s work here: http://http://www.musicradar.com/us/news/guitars/steven-wilson-talks-the-raven-that-refused-to-sing-and-other-stories-570809/7. If you aren’t inclined to read further, Wilson himself nicely sums up his method like this – “The biggest thing is to make people feel. It’s easy to appeal to the intellect. I could go and write some silly, complicated shit, but the hardest thing is to hit somebody’s heart and soul. I want spirituality rather than technicality.”

Well sung Raven, well sung.