by Ami Heller

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Joanna Newsom • ’81

To the woods. Shut off for three days. With nature. Eat little. Sip water. Stare at a river. By yourself. Wait for a spiritual animal to appear. Wolves will charge. Lick your face. Then you’ll know. Return home. Somewhat changed. Your mother will celebrate your homecoming with cakes and her version of a rain dance. Whatever befell in the silence outdoors is yours. Yours alone. You’ll compose something as triumphant as this song.
Joanna Newsom has done it.
And I am the fortunate one. Tonight she will sit on a stage. Play her legendary harp. Sing her epic fables. I will stand enchanted in the audience. Most likely something spiritual will present itself. Not wolves.
But rapture.