Ok, so! Let me tell you what I was super secret squirrel about last week – I made a Thing!

Here’s the scoop – over the last year, Dearest Will & I have been doing yoga together, and both of us have been interested in learning to meditate. It’s been nice that the gentle yoga practice that we do together* has some guided meditation at the end, but we’ve both wanted something more. We tried a yoga nidra cd. We tried some chanting stuff with Deva Primal.** A little flirting with it, right?

And then enter the panic attacks.*** Poor Dearest Will started having them at the end of last year, and has been working with a therapist around that stuff, to some really great success.  A couple months ago, she suggested to him that he should try meditation. Osm, right? She sent him home with some YouTube links, and a mission.

After some browsing the YouTube clips, hilarity ensued, as well as some aggravation on my part – why, for the love of Pete, do meditations always take place on the freaking beach? I find the beach to be one of the most stressful places I can possibly imagine – the heat, the garbage strewn all over the place, the reek of suntan lotion and stale beer, crowds, sand that follows you home and gets into everything you own. Lawdamercy, why??

So I ranted, Will giggled at me ranting, we discussed at length guided meditation clips and what we would both actually want from one. Being a skittery animal  myself,  I held that any good guided meditation should start with, Shh – it’s alright now.

So, in secret, I set to work. I wrote a script. I edited it. I read it out loud to myself and scrapped it. I started again. And again. And a third time, until I got it close to where I wanted it.

Then I emailed my friend Steve. This guy changed my life in 1990, when he handed me a cassette tape with Surfer Rosa  on one side, and Goo on the other side – omogod, blissful noise! Seriously, I had No. Idea.† Anyway – Steve’s still making Good Noise these days, and with that in mind, I asked him if he could do 8 minutes of ambient music suitable for meditation.††

Steve sent me the track he came up with, pointed me in the direction of good (and free to evaluate) mixing software, complete with notes on how to cut and paste pieces and fix volume, and I got the hell on it.

The hell on with it involved learning the software, recording the script,††† and then cutting everything up,‡ adding the chime sample that Steve dug up for me. And then editing out the overly chatty bits and sampling the background noise on the vocal track. All in all, it was really a rather satisfying experience – I had never done this stuff with my hands on the buttons;  every recording experience I’d had to this point involved sitting at the shoulder of someone who did the button pushing and knob turning, so when it started to come together, really, it was exciting!

This is where I must tell you, my inability to keep stuff under wraps is amazing. I ran drafts by Suzi, who helped me immensely and inspired another draft, and still I was dying to give it to Dearest Will. The plan was to hang on and give it to him for Fathers’ Day on Sunday, and I sat on it for a whole (2!) days while I put together a cd sleeve. Two whole two days!

Long story short, I gave it to him yesterday and he was thrilled – over the moon, thrilled. Which is to say, so am I. And he said that he would like very much to share it with some people, so I have stuck it up on SoundCloud. I have titled it 8, as it is 8 minutes long. You can hear it here:


*AM Yoga from the dvd AM/PM Yoga  Here at No. 208, we refer to this as the Roll-On-The-Floor-With-Rodney yoga, because it really is that kind of a routine.  It’s been my personal go-to since around 2001 (I have a copy of the old school cover, yo), because it’s really great when I have pain, or have just plain, had a long day. It’s also a really super great way to get back into the swing of practice after a while off, and a great place to start a practice.
**The yoga nidra cd was a flop. While I loved it, Dearest Will did not. The chanting was better – I loved it, Will thought it was all right, but then the 21-day course ended, and the chants were no longer available online (color us currently broke).
***Not related to the yoga practice, fyi.
† We started a band, we made Good Noise together.
†† This, clearly, was a request in the same vein as the one he made to me a few years ago: he emailed me and asked if I could write a rock n’ roll short story for an anthology he was putting together; I said I probably could, and then he wrote back to say how happy he was that I agreed to do that, and did I know, it needed to be a science fiction rock n’ roll story? Apparently we are good at stretching each others’ boundaries. What I mean to say, is that I have immense gratitude.
†††An adventure it itself – it was raining, and my mic picked up every little bit of it, including the sound of traffic outside my closed window shushing through puddles. After a lot of trial and error (mainly error), I decided that the sound of traffic is actually fairly relaxing. Who knew?
‡ Steve’s music was great, but there were bits that I loved best. So I cut them, looped them, and tacked them together. Hooray for cross-fade!