I was having a conversation with a friend today and we came to an obvious conclusion: she's a planner. Me? Not so much. I write these daily (okay, so I've missed two days since we started in August but I'd say that's still a pretty good run) columns and I rarely pre-plan what is going to be written on a given day. I knew "Girls In Their Summer Clothes" would be used on my wife's birthday. I planned the Nirvana – In Utero reference to coincide with the anniversary of that album's release. I planned my birthday list idea. Other than that, these things just come to me. I write them quickly as I'm listening and I go wherever the music and my imagination take me. Simply put, I wouldn't have guessed that Glen Phillips would have shown up so often in the early stages of this Verse Chorus Verse experiment but once again here we are.
Phillips' music — whether with Toad the Wet Sprocket, solo, or now with WPA — has a way of attaching itself to me in special and sometimes unexpected ways. Toad's Dulcinea was very good to me during some lonely days before college and Coil was there for me when I went off to college. His solo record Mr. Lemons and a song from his solo album Abulum provided comfort and empathy during a time of loss.
Last night was filled with the kind of struggles that don't often get glorified in song. They were the things we all face on a daily basis and most days we overcome them with minimal to moderate effort and don't give it much thought after.
Some days even the small stuff seems a little too much and it's on those days it's good to have a friend. As I tried to guide, comfort, and encourage my wife I heard the fiddle melody that figures so prominently in "Always Have My Love" repeating in my head and I found myself feeling reassured somehow. The verses didn't fit the moment, but that warm fiddle melody and the refrain "You will always have my love" seemed to make a grim evening feel just a little brighter.