The Story Behind River Oasis

Dear Phoenix,

Did I ever tell you about why I wrote the shadow song, River Oasis?

I struggle with knowing who my friends are.  People say they are my friends, but I sometimes get confused with the term friends. Everyone seems to have their own definition of what a friend is, so I just really never know, until a confirmation event.

Confirmation events are small moments when it is revealed to me what a person means when they call me their friend.  In one instance recently, I learned I had a friend when she told my parents how she felt about me.  Her words to my parents, and watching my parents react (something I am quite familiar with now) confirmed that she and I had an equal meaning of friend.

Back when I was living in Atlanta, I was having trouble with your fire.  I know you love me, Phoenix, but that was just a rough time.  I was spending too much time isolated, which peaked one New Years Eve night as I cried myself to sleep.  This really bad night taught me that I could no longer wait for confirmation events.  I needed to create moments for them to occur.

My love of the outdoors and the amazing shadow songs could set the stage, so long as the places we met didn’t compete with the shadow song of the person I needed to understand.  A system of parks along the Chattahoochee River worked perfectly.  The river was energetic, but soothing, erasing out the intense pressure created by the inharmonious relationships that buzzed around Atlanta.  It was present, but not loud, yet loud enough to cancel out the city noises.

I met a friend there, curious if he really was my friend, at a coffee shop right on the river.  It was warm that day, but the cool water created a refreshing mist that was carried on the back of the breeze.  The river song would swirl around us only filling in the moments of silence, but when he would allow himself to be open, his song was the soloist and the river his orchestra.  It worked, and way better than I had imagined.  Within the first visit, I got my confirmation event – a moment of honesty and vulnerability that showed me I was trusted.

One by one I starting inviting friends there to listen to their songs, and look for those moments of friendship clarity. When I started recording pieces for my album, it seemed only fitting that I should honour the river that brought peace to my friendships.

Thanks and love always to you, dear Phoenix,

Laura (Snamuh)


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