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Dear Daughter.

Dear Peyton,

Behind a closed door, you are strumming a guitar and singing someone else's words, but your emotions. On this side of the door, I listen and feel every note. My mind doesn't wander, no wondering about the future; only this moment and how I long to be on that side of the door admiring you, cheering you on as you weave a new story of soundwaves. I like sound; the integrity of tone. It's why I've always loved jazz and improvisation, void of lyric, leaving no place for falsehood when words fall short.

Yesterday I went mountain biking by myself. I wandered through the forest, looking up as the firs extended deep into the blue sky. The taller they stretched the more they shimmered in the wind at the tippy top. Such a delicate predicament, growing toward the sun without a sense of how or why...just that it has to be done and that it continues without choice.

You've heard me say it a million times: look where you want the bike to go. It's always over when you look down at the front wheel or the tree immediately in front of you. So yesterday, I practiced my nemesis: the tight switchback. On the tight, steep ones I kept stopping before I even attempted the turn. Fear stops. A complete unwillingness to take a risk. Finally, in one of them this uncontrollable laughter came bubbling up. In that moment, I realized I was willing myself to fail before I even began. If you just look and twist your body where you want the bike to go, it just happens. So I let all the words go; all the feelings of failure--and defaulted to trust. I began again and again, not leaving until I twisted and turned through each corner. And then I smiled.

I smiled because I wanted to tell you that I did it. I wanted to tell you that I didn't crash. I wanted to tell you that I didn't bleed or bruise. I wanted to tell you that I didn't lie to myself that I couldn't do it. I wanted to tell you that there's another default.

I wanted to tell you that we can begin again and again.

Just look. Look without applying words and stories that are not yours.

Look, trust, and your unique path will unfold.

I love you,



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