I think I’ve finally managed to rediscover something that has long been dormant… something that has eluded me for years, it seems, or at least until I gather up the courage and presence to let it return. That is the joy of writing music.
It’s not like I’ve never experienced it before… I have, many times, it’s just that I let what happened in between distract me, to the point where when I was not writing, I would forget what it would feel like to sit down, alone, a blank piece of paper (or in my case music notation document), and work through musical ideas, slowly, breaking them down meticulously until each note is scribed, and the whole time retaining that creative spark that allows the melody and lyrics to flow. This is not always easy, and that is one thing that makes it hard to start, but it IS always rewarding, and it DOES always feel right.
It was the things I thought I needed to do: the jobs, the parties, the errands, that took me away from that Joy. Not to say that these things are not in their own right necessary. But the minute they start to take away from the creative time, where the real magic happens, the painful sitting and waiting, sitting and noodling, sitting and writing, testing, rewriting… that’s when they become distractions. For so long, I’ve been de-railed by the “other stuff.”
It’s not like I ever abandoned the work, I just avoided it. Why? Perhaps the most obvious answer is Fear. Fear that I might sit for hours and not come up with anything I really liked, fear that I might be missing out on something else (what else is there?), fear that it’s just – too – hard.
But yet, every time I sit down, with my tools at hand, and really start to get into that creative space, and then start to get into a flow, and stick with it for an hour or two, I really feel good. It’s meditation at its purest. A state that’s calm and pure. I’m finally not thinking! My personal dramas are not even within my periphery. My “tragic” past is just where it needs to be – in the past. And at last, I’m fully in the Now!
Even as I write this, I can’t wait to get home and start writing music. I think that’s the whole point – to get back to that place when you’re a kid, you’re sitting in school, and all you can think about is that new toy you got for your birthday that you can’t wait to play with again once you get home. You’ll go through the motions, go to class, do the humdrum worksheets, then the minute that bell rings, you rush to the bus where you know you’re in the home stretch, and once home you barely answer mother’s “How was school?” before you rush to that toy. There’s a hunger, a need to explore, a zest for life that’s reflected in playing with that toy.
And so I can feel myself being pulled away from the petty detours and back to what matters – the writing. I can’t wait.
What is in your life that draws you, that excites you, that makes you impatient to get home and do? What’s that toy you can’t wait to play with?