POSTCARD FROM WASHINGTON

Dear Reader,

Hello from Washington! For the past two months I have been making the Pacific Northwest my home. This morning was surprisingly clear and I realized I have a view of what I think must be Mt. Rainier. The cats found rare sun patches. I spent a while watching boats move on the water.

My life since March 2020 has been everything but usual – let's call it foggy weather – and it's only really been this year in 2023 that I've had the physical stability to start gently orienting myself back to what life might look like if I spend time with music again. I've taken up a few classes as a guide: learning and music for film and television (very interesting!) and participating in a group voice class to learn how to get strength back (I recommend Cari Cole to every singer. Brilliant class). My entire body has gotten so weak, throat included, and so making my way back has been feelin' a bit like seeing that lofty mountain this morning. Is it a mirage? How far away is it really? How it world will I climb that? Is it worth the effort?

The emotional toll of not being able to sing has been truly overwhelming. Imagine something you do that is totally natural to you that you love the most and not being able to do that. When you try it's like putting your hand in the fire. That's what it's been like. 

Still, I have been doing my vocal therapy exercises blind to where I'm heading or what it's for. It's just felt like the next right thing so I've worked on willing myself the devotion when my heart wants to hide out. That's one of the biggest lessons of chronic illness – you wake up every day and habituate the self-care. Any gains are cumulative, not immediate.

Anyhow, quite out of the blue (heh, heh), I saw an email pop into my inbox today. It's the first arrangement of a song I wrote this year called Everything's Better. I sent it off to a studio awhile ago, totally hands off; I don't even know the names of the musicians. I had kind of forgotten about it. I received ideas for the first two verses to see if I'm board with the direction. It's simple, laid back, with a surprising lilt.

While listening I felt everything get brighter and clearer. My brain switched on and I fired off a few notes. Oh. The mountain is perhaps easy. I seem to be walking on a familiar road to her foothills.

What I'm starting to believe is that starting over is probably more like simply committing to continue and finish what you had started to begin with. I hope I will be able to share the recording soon, but here are the lyrics.


Everything's Better / words & music by Heather Kropf, with co-write editing from Judith Avers and Carmen Horst /  © 2023

Picture a time and a place when we moved as one / picture the sound our feet on the ground / all for love / pictures are scattered in boxes / I load in the car / faces that smile at the camera no matter the scars / I've been trying to heal it / but the way that I feel it / everything's better / everything's better with you / everything's better / everything's better with you / can you imagine this isn't some kind of fight / it's softer than rolling hills / hums when we turn out the lights / tell me do you feel it / the way that I feel it / everything's better / everything's better with you / everything's better / everything's better with you / so never say never / I've been trying to heal it / but the way that I feel it / everything's better / everything's better with you / everything's better / everything's better with you / with you 

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