1. My mother died of cancer of the ovaries in August of 2007. This was over 3 years ago. Ever since then I have grown more and more vague and alien and strange.
“no one’s really from anywhere, I s’pose”
My mother was my touchstone, and the only human who understood me, really. She got it. When everyone else put me in a place – defined me – told me how It Should Be, she put my choices out in front of me on a table and showed me what I already knew. She believed in the Worth of Me. I was not a person who was saved by anything. Not by my upbringing, not by my assets, not by my education, not by any relationship or friends or lover or husband or career or house or job or station in life I might choose.
But By Me.
Just me. My own pursuit of happiness.
If I was naked on my own island with a palm tree and a stick with which to fish and fashion a dwelling and a spear and I made it work. If I figured out how to sing and make instruments, whatever. I pursue my own happiness. This is what I learned. This is an extreme situation. This is the Castaway situation. I know that the volleyball with Wilson painted on it is kind of a jokey antenna-ball to people, and that everyone laughs when they watch ‘Big Bang Theory’ and that episode where the main guy talks about the hugging machine comes on. But I think about that and I GET it. Because sometimes I am very isolated. Which is very hard to believe because I Am A Lucky, Lucky, LUCKY, Girl.
I know. That was a long #1.
2. My husband, who is a good companion and a GREAT husband despite how I make my life sound sometimes (#top1%of1%offirstworldproblems); brought up an experience that we shared while we watched the Darjeeling Limited. They were all in the wilderness watching the stars, listening to Clair de Lune. My mother wanted it played at her memorial service. I gave the talk at her service. It was hard. I cannot describe the movie, the song, the other songs that were played, the Whole Thing About the Beatles … I won’t go on to keep talking about the distinct lack of Coincidences in my life or how I have been brutally and tragically wrong about the patterns of intimacy I’ve seen between things and places and people before. I am not a very good human when I try to be one.
3. I feel as though I live in a mean, mean world and that I cannot play hardball very well. I am a very subtle creature and my process is kind of refined and careful. It’s been really hard for me to learn to stick my neck out. Hard for me in these contests to come forward and learn to work quickly. Let alone to play nicely with others. It’s a game of Extreme Trust. And I take things far too seriously. And I learn that for some odd reason I am not really given the same levity to ascribe sacredness to my work as others are to theirs. It’s an odd minefield.
4. This brings me to a state of calmness that I hit recently. I feel like I’ve been sitting in a corner with my arms around my knees. I’ve wanted to write explanations. Lists. Song Bios. Not just of my recent song contest song, which I do not have a song bio for because I did not originate the lyrics – nor do I know anything about Dundee.. in a way that would be pertinent or meaningful to contribute to a song. I have wanted to write bios of my other songs, starting at Song Fu and leading outward. And I realize that I am both a very great self-revealer and a very great liar who is full of fear.
5. So the calmness. I clicked on Paul Potts’ review feeling very tired indeed. I’d written pages and pages of disorganized things. A half-restaurant review. Photographs and their explanations. I’ve filmed several videos, and gotten a few more out of catalogue. It’s all meaningless.
But Paul. His words were just … refreshing. He was frank. He was constructive. He was on. He was a member of a community. He shot from the hip but not with a firearm. He wanted to build up and not destroy. It was as though he wanted to make something. It was as though he came from a rich tradition of musicians who have always been trying to build a collective of cooperation.
I was reminded instantly of other things he has said over time. Things I don’t dare say. Silly pipe dreams that old married women are not supposed to talk about. We are supposed to be home with our husbands. We are not supposed to become excited by the way certain songs go and to the way our community responds to them … so much so that we think we see patterns and vindication for other horrid things in our lives. So much so that we take chances and build structures even though it seems that at times I am trying to combine a couple ridiculous ingredients with Duality. Like I am a very small piano player who is certain to get lost in this crowd of sultry and rich large-strong-chord playing females with my silly wrong-noted-tentative step-lightly-around the thought… not committing, not wanting to Tell It All. And my child-woman voice that does not want to committ to the tune and that’s just How It Is. And I try to combine it with El Scot of the Soaring Theatrics and the Sweeping Fan Club. Langworthy said once it was like trying to combine steak and jello salad in a blender. Niveous actually said that maybe doing ‘End of the World’ the way we did wasn’t playing to our strengths. I don’t know what Joe will say to this. He is very Protective of the way we do things and the way things end up being done. So much that I feel comfortable discussing it less and less. But we are both closed loops, in a way.
He lets himself out in short bursts in Tweets. When I try to do that too much I just get stupider and stupider. and whiny.
Joe though. Not a diarist, but yes a writer.
Well, anyway. It was the combination of JoAnn’s review and our review and Edric’s review that made me think “yes, you have explained it exactly, and with great respect!”
I did not write the words to our song, or the lyrics. I wrote a complicated piano part, which Joe in the end moved a few notes around in to fit his words, even. So he even did some engineering. I didn’t even really get to mess with the piano to my fullest delight. But this song seized him and to coin a phrase backwards, it IS *HIS* Dundee …. I only know enough about it, from what I have heard tell and seen in a few photos, to give it to its rightful owner, where it belongs.