I haven’t posted here in…more than two years! What?!
During that time, so much has happened. In May of 2018, Dave retired from Penguin Random House and we moved from New York City to Portland, Oregon to be near our grown kids. Dave is freelancing part-time, and I’m finally writing again, after losing the ability for a long time due to… well, that’s a story for another time.
I apologize to all of you who have tried to contact me or attempted gain access to this site but found it set to private. It’s not that I’ve been posting to a select group, I just haven’t been writing here.
I really do miss that part of my life, interacting with so many of you, and I’m thinking about restarting the conversation soon with more and different. I continue to heal physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
But friends, I’m posting today because I just couldn’t not. My stepson Taylor is releasing his first ever album today. It’s titled “Found.” I am so proud of him, not just for his vocal and instrumental gifts but who he is as a person. Oh, you guys! He is just the best. kind. of. human.
The album, as you’ll discover, was partly inspired by Noah, and the theme of that loss runs heavily through it. Taylor writes, “The songs on the record exist somewhere in the place between the death of my brother, and my need to carve out a bigger life. When my brother died in 2015 I realized I couldn’t waste any more time. I saw with this intense clarity that I needed to focus on what’s real. For me that’s music, and being in the woods, and human connection.”
Noah and Taylor were 10 and 11 respectively when Dave and I began to date. From the get-go, they recognized each other and became like two peas in a pod. Two brothers on the couch in equally stinky socks who spent hours playing video games and talking sports, in particular, the Trail Blazers.
As they got older, Noah and Taylor increasingly bonded around their shared love of music. In high school, Taylor played saxophone and Noah played bass. Eventually, they both played guitar and other instruments, too. They roomed together at college for a while. Now and then, they jammed together.
As they grew into young men, our sons separately dreamed of making music their vocation but couldn’t see a way to swing it while still paying the bills. In fact, a couple months before he died, Noah cut back his hours at work, hoping to jumpstart the music thing.
Then the worst happened, and you already know about that. Taylor was devastated, of course. But in the next few years, Taylor processed a lot of his sorrow through music—listening to it, and ultimately, writing it. Eventually, he decided he was done dodging his dream, done letting fear of failure get in the way of pursuing his love of music in a serious way. He quit his safe job and flourishing career at Columbia Sportswear to devote himself full-time to his music.
Taylor began playing at open-mics around Portland, developed an audience, booked gigs (on hold for now—thank you–not!–Covid-19), and recorded this album.
One song on the album is specifically about Noah. You’ll hear Taylor playing the saxophone, piano and guitar on this song. It’s incredibly haunting. With his permission, here are the lyrics.
You came to me
in a dream I had
And you said,
Brother, what have I done to us?
Man, I got lost
trying to find my mind.
And when I found it,
It had all turned to dust.
Well, I tried to so hard
To be a better man.
Please tell Mother
she did all she could do.
And if you could find it in your heart
To see the man I was
And not the demon
I left behind for you.
I’m so grateful that Taylor has found it in his heart to remember the man Noah really was, and is helping others do that, too. Thank you, Taylor.
Check out on “Found” on Spotify, Bandcamp, or wherever you listen to music online. It’s also available on vinyl! Click here for all your listening/buying options–and a link to his super cool music video.
(And listen, I promise I won’t wait so long to talk again. Big hugs and be well.)