Rising Sun — New song in memory of Jeff Daniel


Rising Sun (In memory of Jeff Daniel)
Truth is a river that runs through the mountains, springing from peaks of doubt and despair
Flooding the valley on its path to the ocean, retuning with the rains, the tidal air
Life is a salmon that spawns in the gravel from rocks of ages rolling away
We have everything we ever wanted . . . Right here on earth
We are one with everything we see . . . Right here on earth
Right here on earth
The Sun is rising, the Sun is rising, like a song in my heart
The Sun is rising, the Sun is rising, a new day is starting
The Sun is arising, the Sun is rising, here at the edge of the earth
The Sun is rising, on the horizon, Sun of hope and rebirth
Time is a tree rooted to the ground, rising into the sky with rings of symmetry
Crashing alone after weathered endurance, reborn in the soil of a new century
Peace is the sound of the howling wind along the ocean of opportunity
We have everything we ever wanted . . . Right here on earth
We are part of everything we see . . . Right here on earth
Right here on earth
The Sun is rising, the Sun is rising, thoughts come in waves
The Sun is rising, the Sun is arising, a new song to play
The Sun is shining, seagulls flying, all you see is free
The Sun is shining, kites arising, alive on the beach
Coyotes roam the dunes with deer and raccoons
Butterflies in cocoons, songbirds always in tune
Nothing ever to lose, no questioning truth
The Sun is setting, the Sun is setting, on the window of my time
The Sun is setting, no regretting, all that passed me by
Night is falling, sleep is calling, until the Sun comes to rise


The story behind the song:

Rising Sun really started as two separate songs that appeared on my guitar last December, and neither one had lyrics when I recorded them together on a video clip posted on Facebook before Christmas. The first part is based on a riff that sounds like a waterfall as it progresses, and the second is sort of a D-based homage to Peter Buck of REM.
In March, the death of my friend Jeff Daniel shook the beach community that is my home to its very core. Jeff was the essential spirit of Ocean Shores – someone who fled Puget Sound country for the magic and wonder of the coast. He was a rocker at his core, the best real estate salesman I have ever encountered, an amazing father, a race car driver, a surfer, a friend, a guitar player, songwriter, journalist, author. I vowed after writing his obituary and covering his memorial celebration that I would do my utmost to continue his legacy and spread his spirit of hope and optimism for a better world, right here on the earth that we inhabit under our feet, on the sands of time that sustain us on this amazing peninsula of creativity and sustainability.
In that spirit, the lyrics of Rising Sun manifested themselves in April as I had decided to retire from journalism once and for all time to focus on my health, my music, my family, my home. Jeff made me realize, always, that you should pursue your dreams to their fullest potential. As I was dwelling on such thoughts and playing the guitar looking east at sunrise one morning, the heavens sort of opened and I began to chant the chorus of the song under my breath as I strummed along to the majestic rays of the day spreading out before my eyes. Later, I went for a run to the beach thinking of Jeff and how much he loved every sunny day when he could get out to the ocean – pretty much any and every day. At that very moment, I found an agate glowing in the sun, something I had never before encountered on the heavily used main beach of Ocean Shores. Farther down the beach, an eagle picked at the carcass of a salmon as the seagulls waited patiently for their shot at the leftovers, and the shells of razor clams literally littered the tideline.
Coming home from the run, I quickly jotted down the thoughts that make up the first part of Rising Sun, in many ways emulating Quinault Native American philosophy that we are truly stewards and vessels of the environment that sustains all life. The first working title was Here on Earth, and then I began to play it with the Rising Sun riff, and suddenly everything just fit together like it was always meant to be.
Songwriting is like that for me – an essential truth that will emerge with the passing of time if you just open yourself to the possibilities. I share this today as the first part of the ongoing narrative I have embarked upon to examine some of my more personal creativity, or preoccupation, in trying to make music that stands the test of time. Now that I have fewer years ahead of me, and as a small way to honor how Jeff lived his life, I have decided to head back into the “ocean of opportunity” with the “howling wind” of my guitars at my back, like a salmon spawning in the gravel of rocks rolling through the ages.

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