the never ending beginning

by Hometapes Various Artists

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How do you see the calendar in your head?
Is it a string of days or a series of boxes? Does it loop, one year into the next? Is it a wide, flat expanse? Or a mountain range of peaks and scattered canyons? Is it tethered to your memories of a paper datebook, something you fill up and file on a shelf? Do the months live in clusters of seasons, talking to each other in the shape of suns and falling leaves and the way it sounds when you can't hear a thing but the wind?

Something about the month of December seems to make us all stand at attention. Everyone is feeling something. Everyone gets a little more honest, if not to each other then, maybe, to ourselves. Sitting in the dark by the light of a tree strung with bulbs, we can think. Or drink. Look our friends in the eye. Gather our memories in a box, worn down puzzle pieces that fit together to form a picture of our lives. Every time we pour it out onto the floor, the puzzle changes. You can put it together however you want, and, every year, you try. There's no image on the box to mimic, just the ever-shifting landscape of what you want life to look like for yourself and the ones you love.

This year, we asked Hometapes' family and friends to make a song for the holidays -- whatever that meant to them. This is our third year doing this, and, undoubtedly, the most remarkable one yet. Over the past couple weeks, Adam and I have opened over twenty gifts: songs that push what it means to feel, and to feel Right Now. Not just those December vibes, but the experience of where we all are right this second: a world that's somehow more infinite than it's ever been. Maybe this has to do with our age (we're getting older) or the nebulous nature of our geographic borders (thanks to the machine you are reading this on). Adjacent to the tools that enable us is the perspective we carry -- and our lens is polished, daily, by these artists. And it has been for a decade. Before that, it was the music on the radio, the LPs in our parents' record bin, the shows in that belvedere by the river that changed our lives, and the views out the tour van window. After this, as we swim through that dark pool between December 31 and January 1 (yeah, I see a dark pool), we'll dry off, take a deep breath, and keep running.

Happy holidays. We hope you get exactly what you want. This can be your soundtrack.

-Sara Padgett Heathcott, Hometapes, 12/9/11


released 09 December 2011



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