Quite often, during one of my walks, ideas for interesting (to me) blog posts come to my mind.
That is not the reason I walk. I walk for exercise. I walk to get outside. (It is February, but it is not Canada.) I walk because, at the moment at least, my legs remain a reliable part of my anatomy. I walk to celebrate “They work!”
But sometimes – and this is the reason I never wear headphones out of the house (aside from the fact that my ears may alert me to oncoming dangers my eyes, though doing their best, are chronically unable to detect) with an unhampered brain open for business, interesting illuminations enter my mind, many of which later appear on these blogatorial pages.
But not this morning.
Why? Because I am trying to memorize the lyrics of the latest song I am learning on the piano, the process of memorizing commandeering my consciousness as, wearing headphones, iTunes had appropriated my ear canals.
It’s a tough song. I mean, it’s not Sondheim complicated, which… I do not know how they learn that. Fortunately, I am not enamored of Sondheim. I get enough “ambivalence” in actual life.
What it is is a hauntingly plaintive ballad called “I’m Not Lisa”, written by Jessi Colter. (Yes, I am learning a “Girl’s Song.” Why? Because I like it.)
Another way a song’s lyrics can be tricky to internalize involves the use of challenging similar wordings, making it tough to remember exactly which wordings go where. In this case, you have “sunlight” – twice – as well as “rising sun”, as well as “morning light.”
A nineteen-line song, and they mention a variation of “that really hot thing in the sky” four times.
I mean, come on, “Country Girl.” That’s not “homespun lyric writing”, that’s “Try harder.” (Overall General Belief: Lyric writing is more difficult than melody writing. A tune can materialize in one piece. In the extended effort of lyric writing, your brain sometimes unhelpfully intervenes.)
So I am learning the words, struggling to distinguish “sun light” from “rising sun”, deciding finally to give up and go home and double-check when I realize I am on the last “leg” of my walk and no inspiring post ideas have yet come to me due to the blocking impediment of “hick-writing” laziness. (Or a “stylistic motif” that has successfully wrestled me to the ground.)
The thing is, once I decided I would not be mastering those lyrics on that particular sojourn, my mind was once again freed up. And wouldn’t you know it?
And idea suddenly came to me.
Not actually an “idea”, per se, or pari pasu. (I do not know what that means; it just felt like per se could use company.) What I experienced was a re-thinking of a previous idea, now seen from an altered perspective.
No lie. (Or self-serving rationalization.) An idea from a rejiggered perspective feels refreshingly new.
I have mentioned on earlier occasions – probably numerous earlier occasions – that, although I would like to write more about my television-writing career, somehow, considering the length of time I put into it, a relatively few number of recollections seem to come readily to mind. I have in the past chalked that up to a form of benign by similar-generated “PTSD”, the shuddering shocks and anxieties triggering “Anecdotal Amnesia.”
Years ago, I did chronicle a biographical record of my experiences in fifty or so successive posts entitled, “Story Of A Writer.” But after that, the torrent of intriguing “War Stories” dropped to a veritable trickle.
A once roaring river is now cracked and crumbling terrain.
It is possible I used them all up in that prodigious exercise, but I doubt it. Others are limitless fountains of “the things that they did and they people they met.” Yet for me, however, the show biz “Cupboard of Goodies” is disappointingly bare.
And I believed I knew why.
And then, after giving up on the “I’m Not Lisa” lyrics, I suddenly “knew why” differently.
Maybe it wasn’t how terrible it was.
Maybe it was how ordinary it was.
Or at least ultimately became. (The word “normalized” comes to mind, but don’t get me started on that.)
Not all of it, of course. There were hard parts, scary parts, exceedingly stressful parts, overwhelming parts and heartbreaking parts. Truth is, those things inevitably come with the territory and I may have just taken them too personally. (Really? Me?)
Still, the majority of my work the majority of the time, it was like the planes that land safely.
Who ever writes about that?
Or even remembers it?
My lack of unlimited storytelling in that arena? Maybe – I thought for the first time at the tail end of my walk – was not because things were so traumatic. It was because they were so “regular.”
Anyway, this (comparative) upbeat illumination? It was a different perspective.
A sunnier one.
Or sun-shinier one.
Or one the sunlight
And I am back at the beginning.