Written on a 22-day backpacking trip in the Sierras, "Am I A Cloud" was one of seven songs that opened the floodgates to a new life of creativity.
Let's rewind the clock.
It's 2010. I'm a senior in high school. My piano teacher, the great Edwin Deveny, passed away five months ago. I played Rachmaninov's 2nd Piano Concerto with the school orchestra without looking at the piano. That was January. My girlfriend of three years dumped me in March. I aced my USC scholarship interview the next morning. I'm giving it everything I got but damn, do I need a break.
Then comes the senior trip, the culminating adventure in Chadwick's Outdoor Ed program. We go in groups of roughly a dozen through the Wilderness Area, carrying everything on our backs. No phones, no roads. My daily life means nothing.
I am free.
On this trip, I wrote seven songs. I had written some before, but these just happened so easily. And they never stopped. I would go on to explore music in college, skipping my Biology classes. I walked away from what everyone else considered a career, because I'd been to the mountains.
It's fun to look back, ten years on, at some lyrics from this significant time:
Am I just a cloud to you?
Do you see what you want in me
To forget about all the blue?
Are you really too good for me?
Don't ya have the same blood as me?
Please help me understand:
If you fell would you take my hand?
Or am I just a cloud in the sky?
If I am, then I'll say goodbye