Have you heard "Hey, there Delilah?" If the answer is no, it's possible that you lived under a rock a couple of years ago when it was everywhere. I'm at work, listening to Pandora and trying to work up the energy to do something (anything!) productive while I catch up on blog reading. I've been at the doctor all day, so my work-mojo is all off.
Anyway, back to The Plain White Tees (band singing above song). It's a beautiful song. Even though it saw more play than the YMCA. It's just so calming and quiet and it's a love song, but when I listen to it, it doesn't make me happy. It makes me feel like I've walked into something private and overheard something that I shouldn't. It feels so real, so personal, so private.
I've heard that the songwriter wrote it about a girl he'd only met once and never had a relationship with. I don't know if that's true, and I'd rather not. I don't want to hear the story behind it. The story behind it will ruin it and take away it's magic, I just know it will. So many songs in my life have been ruined by the "real" story. I have often said that Story is eternal. It's something bigger than any of us. Nothing important has ever happened that wasn't surrounded and bathed in story. Sometimes the event came first, sometimes the story came first. It doesn't matter. When the dust settles and time passes, the story is all that is left.
I've never liked classical music, because it doesn't have words. I'm all about the words. I know this makes me seem juvenile, but I think it's just because I've always been obsessed with words. I care much more about the words than the melody or the rhythm. I don't know music, but I know words.
I can find beauty and amazement in the typical three chord punk song, because I barely hear the music. But I have to struggle, really struggle to find beauty in Bach because, well, it's just music to me. I love musical people (maybe because I am so un-musical) and they have always been astounded and a little offended (?) by my inappreciation of a medium they find rife with beauty and depth. And I can't explain it. I can't put my finger on it, but I always wonder if when they read they stop sometimes and turn a word or a phrase over and over in their head just appreciating the rhythm of it, the imagery, the perfectness. How that word is the only word that would have worked there, the only thing that made that phrase, which made that sentence, which made that paragraph, which made that chapter, which made that book.
My love of words, of character, of story is deep, it is ingrained on my soul. I don't remember being read to much as a child, but I remember my mother reading all the time. "Historical romances." I remember my grandma picking up Guidepost or one of the myriad health magazines which landed on our doorstep every week. I remember there being books - so many books in the house that I wondered if it would be possible to read them all. I think this meant more to me than reading myself. Seeing a quiet, unpretentious appreciation of it.
I wonder if my love of words and story came from that, from the books around, from my mother curled up in her reading chair tuning out the evening news. Or if it's genetic. Something no one had to work to inspire. Something that was just always there.
I wonder if I'm doing right by the girls. I read to Brynna, any time she asks. And I'll start reading to Maren soon, I'm sure. I read her books that the librarians think are too old for her. Books where the main character is at least twice her age, books with chapters and very few pictures. But, she doesn't see me read often. I don't curl up on the couch and tune out Pinky Dinky Doo. I hide in the kitchen, cooking, cleaning, or I work in the living room on one of my million projects. I am never there just reading. Just showing her how much I love the thing I love the very most.
The blog I was reading, listening to The Plain White Tees tell Delilah that distance would not separate them was Sweet Juniper. Today, he wrote,
"Sometimes I go back and read cringe-inducing things I wrote over a decade ago, occasionally encountering a particularly delicate line and wondering where it came from. Did that come from me? I wonder. The same dope who wore his pants at his knees and listened only to the Wu Tang Clan? Have you forgotten how powerful it feels to stand in awe of what hasn't yet been written, that limitless universe of language in front of you. Have you forgotten how fun it was to be bold and reckless with words?"
Other than past fashion choices and musical tastes, I could have written that.
I have forgotten. I have forgotten. I want to remember. I want to write. Every day that goes by without me writing is another nail in the coffin. I'm not sure what I'm burying: my creativity, my soul, my ability, my love. But whatever it is, I'm not ready to let it go. Yet, every night I go to bed exhausted, without writing a single word. Without making even a tiny bit of progress on the Great American Novel. Or the Other Novel. Without doing anything.
I wake up thinking about all the things I have to do and I never think about what I want to do. I want to read, I want to write, I want to craft. But those things are inevitably the things that fall by the wayside. I'm tired of waiting. I'm tired of hoping that one day, I'll retire and have a wicker chair on a sun porch and get all of this stuff done, while sipping homemade lemonade. But I don't know how to change. There isn't enough time to do the things I need to do, let alone make more room for the things I want to do. I wonder if it'll be better when the kids are both in school, or when I get through with VBS. But I don't think it'll ever "get" better. I think I have to make it better. And I don't know how.
Writing is always what I have wanted to do.