Song Thoughts - Close the Distance - Staying Connected When Apart

Wow, is this really my fifth blog post? The weeks are going by quickly. This week I am bundled up in blankies, sipping tea and fighting a flu bug. Not too sick to write though. I love the flexibility of working from home. This week’s blog is about the fourth and final song on my Burnt Toast EP. There are so many reasons that this song, Close the Distance, perfectly fits what is currently going on in my life, my family, and in the world. Pandemic times UG! But the last week or so has been very exciting, as the public health orders loosen up; hope is arriving on the horizon for live shows and increased social opportunities. It’s also been exciting as my family is preparing for my son to move into his own home. He has a developmental disability and autism, so he will have staff 24/7. I am both excited for and dreading the change. It will be good for both him and us to have more independence from each other, but more distance between us scares me in so many ways. What an emotional time! 

I wrote Close the Distance a couple of years ago, as one of my weekly song posts for a Facebook group I am part of, Get Your Ass Writing Songs. I was thinking of my niece Natalie and my nephew Leo, and how hard it is to be part of their lives as they grow up in different towns and provinces. Covid 19 has made it even harder to stay connected. I know that my family is not alone in this experience; it seems to be the norm now for families to be spread out across great distances. And then the pandemic went and put a painful pause on the in-person visits we usually have to strengthen that thread between us. I hope this little song makes it to some ears and helps even in a tiny way for someone.   

So what do we do with all this distance? It is a struggle to stay connected when apart, but there must be ways to do so. When I was a kid I had pen pals, but I don’t send or receive many letters anymore. Facebook is nice for the photo sharing opportunities, and seems to be the main mode of connection these days, but it isn’t the same. I love facetime or video conferencing, but not everyone feels comfortable on screen. A quick phone call seems to be a rare thing. I’ve never been much for talking on the phone. So maybe we just need to grieve this lost time together? Adapt? I write songs to help process feelings; everyone needs some sort of playful emotional release during this pandemic and beyond. But wouldn’t it be great if we could just beam ourselves around like they do on space shows? And I love the image of the Earth’s crust folding up on giant hinges for brief periods of time. For the length of time it takes to get some hugs, a meal, together, actual people presence. How do you stay connected during times of separation from loved ones? I seem to have more questions than answers today. Time to go curl up and rest and get better…  

That’s the last song on this EP, but it’s definitely not the last blog post I plan to write. There’s also the music video for Running in Jeans, some live shows are getting booked over the summer, and I have a new album project started. I hope you keep healthy and well, and please check in with me again next week! 

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