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Sun, Mar. 28th, 2010, 07:35 pm

Exactly a week ago today, I played Huaynos by a fire in the rain as people planted potatoes. I drank porter and ate amazing lamb stew, and climbed a hill with a woman named Margaret who described the scenery to me as looking like The Heath. "not Thomas hardy's heath," she was quick to point out, "but something more like the Brante Sisters' Heath."

When I got home, Julia and Rossie were just returning from their weekend in Oregon. As we were drinking corona and making stir fry, a very minimalistic piano song in e-flat major came on NPR . I was mesmerized by it and almost moved to tears.

On Monday, after returning from tricities, I grabbed my guitar and headed to Vintage on a total whim. I was tired and hungry, but I ended up silencing the crowd with my set, which included Sirvinakuy, Piedra y Camino, and El Inquieto. I have become more comfortable with playing and singing into a microphone.

On Wednesday of this week, I left for an Americorps retreat in Randall Washington. I breathed the mountain air, forgot about troubles in Walla walla, and met and jammed with some amazing people. On Thursday night I hung out by a camp fire in the rain with a guy who played Tarega on my guitar. On Friday morning, I hiked to a water fall, and after ducking under the guard-rope and holding onto it with one hand, leaned out and stuck my cane in the spraying misting water. On the slippery walk down, I slipped and fell, scraping my right wrist but not breaking any nails.

On Friday night, back in Walla walla, I saw an amazing performance by a fourteen year-old girl who played violin and sang some of her original songs over her dad and uncles' guitars, along with some vashti Bunyan covers. (Vashti might just be my new favorite English song writer!) Her performance brought me to tears.

Last night, amity and I drove to Milton Freewater Oregon where we listened to a tight country band play to an almost-empty steakhouse in the middle of nowhere. we drank porters as the spring wind rushed outside.

on Saturday, I sat down and started playing what I felt. All of these experiences: the waterfall, Ana's performance, the discovery of Vashti, the camp fires in the rain, the potato planting, the way everyone got silent for my performance at vintage, came out in something that I can only explain as a musical catharsis. (Notice how closely "catharsis" and "catarata" are related.) I was able to get it structured, and I think I may have my first instrumental composition.