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I’ve Done the Math (original song)

Backpacker Guitar in Grand Canyon

Here’s a coincidence.

One year ago today I hiked down to Indian Garden in the Grand Canyon with my backpacker guitar and wrote a song called I’ve Done the Math.

I wrote and recorded the song down at that oasis; wrote it at a picnic table and recorded it just out of earshot of the campers and park rangers.

Play or Download “I’ve Done the Math (original song)” on SoundCloud >>

It was something I always wanted to do, and I was thinking I’d better do I while I still could. I knew that I might soon be leaving Flagstaff for good.

Those circumstances, I think, come through in the song. My marriage was failing—or had already failed. It was hard to tell. Hard for me anyway.

View from just above Indian Garden
The view from where the song was recorded

I wasn’t thinking about the song’s first birthday today. Instead, I was digging through some papers and notes that I’d brought to Madagascar with me. I was looking for some documents to help me do some math to bring my marriage to a final conclusion. Instead I found the handwritten lyrics to this song with the date 5/24/14 written in the upper right.

Notepad in Grand Canyon
This is what an unwritten song looks like

The song got some good feedback over on Songcrafters. But I was up to my chest in the things one has to do when his life is unraveling, so I didn’t give the song much more attention.

So here I am in Madagascar a year later. My life is looking more raveled than unraveled these days.

Interestingly, adding un- to the beginning of ravel does create a word with the opposite meaning — not in this case. Ravel and unravel mean the same thing—like flammable and inflammable.

So what do I mean when I say, “my life is looking more raveled than unraveled these days?” Exactly that.

My backpacker guitar is in storage in Arizona. In Madagascar I have a kabosy, which is about the same size. Maybe it’s time to pick a destination and do another songwriting hike. But first I have to do some math.

Photo Credit: Ted Johnson (CC BY-NC 2.0)

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