That Secret That You Know, But You Don’t Know How To Tell

Blog post written by Ali Coates | Photography captured by Meredith Meier

I’ve stopped and started writing this post about ten times now. How can I describe something so indescribable? As this week post-fest has gone on, I’ve found myself rediscovering all of my favorite Bon Iver songs. Over and over and over and over. I think it’s safe to assume many of you have being doing the same.

I’m big on lyrics. I get lost in daydreams, trying to decode what the artist meant. Who it’s about. To try to feel their pain, their love, their lust. And as I listened to Flume for the fifth time in a row, I realized. Justin Vernon has already written this post for me. With his poetic, romantic, heartbreaking, carefully confusing lyrics, this post was already written. And how fitting, since his music wrote the story of Eaux Claires.

Meredith and I didn’t set an intention to create anything out of our weekend at Eaux Claires. In fact, I didn’t even believe I’d have cell reception for two days and was quite happy with that. But get a writer and a photographer together and something’s bound to happen when set in such an inspiring atmosphere. The energy, the people, the outfits, the way the music brought everyone together - it made us feel like we were home. Among friends. And we couldn’t stand the thought of not capturing that.

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I told you to be patient. I told you to be kind.

In the neighborhood, we could be friends.

So ready for us. So ready for us.

When your money’s gone, and you’re drunk as hell.

But you know that it’s good, girl.

This is pouring rain, this is paralyzed.

And the days without numbers. There isn’t a ceiling in our garden.

There I find you marked in constellation. And at once I knew, I was not magnificent.

What’s that noise up the stairs, babe? Is that Christmas morning creaks?

As the moon waned a crescent, we started to kiss.

I’m in love with your honor. I’m in love with your cheeks.

With all your lies, you’re still very lovable.

Only love is all maroon.

The sky is the womb and she is the moon.

And I know it well.

Only hold til your coffee warms. But don’t hurry and speed.

In the morning I’ll be with you. I’ve been twisting in the sun.

And you clutched your kicking heels.

Seek the light, my knees are cold.

It might be over soon.

Love, don’t fight it.

Running home, running home, running home, running home.

I request another dream. To burn it like cedar.

Pour a little salt, we were never here.

You’re in Milwaukee, off your feet. 

All song lyric copyrights belong to Bon Iver and Justin Vernon.