the first time i met a bear

by lydiasee


As my life has progressed, at different stages, I have relied on different music to drive me, to clarify me, to center me. I think a lot of people go through musical incarnations, and revisit certain records when they need to.
I always come back to the same sounds: Bill Callahan, Jason Molina, Will oldham, Mark Kozalek, Tyler Ramsey, Kurt Vile, Justin Vernon…
The day, years ago, when I was running with my dog on the Parkway AT trail and saw my first bear.. my grandmother (step) had just died, I needed to get OUT of my body, of my space. I remember rounding a curve in the path and making eye contact with this bear. I was listening to Bon Iver For Emma and sitting on a rock, my dog, unaware, on the leash next to me, while I sobbed and Justin Vernon told me what to do and how to heal and I asked the Bear for advice.
We had a conversation.
After a short while, I backed away down the path, back towards my car, real life, everything.. thanking the Bear while I walked backwards..
As I neared the last bend before reaching my car, Cease to Begin came on, and I sat on the hood of my car and wrote and wrote and wrote.
I have no idea where that journal is, probably in my storage unit somewhere, but I remember the feeling of letting everything come flowing out of my hand and letting go.
I also remember the feeling of being full, inspired, driven to keep writing and to go back down to town and keep moving.