Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.—E.L. Doctorow
Sam Baker is a man of few words. Always beautifully chosen, and fully wrought. Words placed like plants and objects in a Zen Garden. His website is stark: white, black, sepia, and shades of gray. Baker turned inward, to relearn the use of his body and brain after a Peruvian train bombing almost killed him in 1986. It’s taken years to heal. Time to reconnect. The road back was arduous, but it opened up new vistas in art, poetry, and music.
mercy, released in 2004, was the first in a trilogy of compelling albums with sparse instrumentation and poetic delivery. It was followed by pretty world in 2007 and cotton in 2009. Each piece is imprinted with a theme: everyone is at the mercy of another one’s dreams, how beautiful are these days, and talk about forgiveness.
Baker approaches life with a positive attitude: “Life is a gift. I went through a lot of bitterness- a lot of anger. But those things are toxic. Gratitude for what remains is more helpful than resentment for what was lost. Ultimately, I came to understand that these days are wicked short and terribly beautiful. All I’ve got—no matter what I hold in my hands, drive around in, or put in the bank—all I’ve got is this one breath, and if I’m lucky, I get another.”