From The Desk Of matt pond PA: Floating

The 11th matt pond PA full-length, Winter Lives, features artwork that evokes Windham Hill’s catalog. Winter Lives arrives 11 years after Pond’s nearly all covers EP, Winter Songs. Pond, a New Hampshire native, understands the season that inspired Winter Lives, but he needed to write winter songs in the spring, so the album would arrive in context. Given his background, Pond didn’t scratch down too far to find inspiration. “It’s just visceral,” he says of winter. “There’s this coldness and shut-down emotional temperament to people in northern places, but when you get through that, there’s so much depth and reality to northern people.” Pond will be guest editing over the next two winter weeks. Read our new feature on him.

Pond: The fantasy was to fly. The reality was more like most realities. Simple and unsurprising.

Floating. A few inches off the ground. A little faster than a walk but not quite a run.

I’d rehearsed in the basement for years after uncovering a dogeared copy of Flying Made Easy in the two-cent library sale. The first step is to empty the mind.

Easy. Back then, there really wasn’t all that much going on other than the curve of a field in spring, waving slowly as the timid sun sinks. Poorly hung barn doors and dirt road dust were plenty entertaining. The story was always changing.

The second step was belief. Even when the floater isn’t floating, the faith must remain.

All those nights, staring in the mirror, demanding that reality change course. Acute loneliness. But loneliness with a legitimate purpose.

And then it happened. The cassette player warbling, a poor teen’s taped, taped tape. “All I Want” by Joni Mitchell. Toes lifting up off the bathroom carpet, the basement refuge becoming a fully realized laboratory of the greatest non-science ever created.

That night, I drank Mickey’s Big Mouths and float-danced with my posters and my albums, empty sweaters, falling into bookshelves and shushing myself to the ceiling, as if anyone cared.