Writing music has been important to me since I first sat down at the family piano and wrote a song. I had taken piano lessons for a few years, but I was never really serious about them. I struggled with sight reading, and music theory was like trudging through algebra. I always had a good ear for music, though, and could often replay a melody after hearing it a few times.
The day I wrote my first song was different. I certainly hadn’t planned on writing a song; I didn’t even know that I could. But when my fingers found certain keys, I felt like I ‘d tapped into some creative force that suddenly decided to operate through me. Excited, I grabbed my cassette recorder and captured the song. It was a strange, rambling piece I called “Bury Our Bones at Sunrise.” My music is all instrumental. Though I write poetry, I’m terrible at writing lyrics. When I’ve written songs for guitar and applied lyrics, I ended up with weird country songs. Couple that with my voice and…well, let’s just say I wouldn’t win any talent shows.
I continue writing songs today, though I’ve recently taken a break. When I was drinking, I would obsess over the fact I hadn’t written any music for a while, and I’d listen to the negative voices in my head that told me I couldn’t write music for shit anyway, so why should I even bother? The same voices told me my creative writing was worthless, too, but despite that, I was a lazy coward if I didn’t write every day.
Withing drinking out of the picture, the voices haven’t completely gone away, but they’re not nearly as loud. I write when I feel like writing, and that goes for music as well as stories and poems. I’m passionate about music and literature, but I have a job and a family. I write and compose when I can. If a day or two or even a week goes by and I haven’t been creative, I don’t beat myself up. In this regard, practicing lovingkindness to myself is important and quite refreshing.
Today is the second day of my mini-vacation in the North Carolina mountains, and I had some time to myself while the others went to the pool (I’m not terribly keen on being in the water). I turned my wife’s Surface, fired up my music-writing program called Reason, and this is what came out.
I’m not sure why the song (and title) is so dark. It’s just what flowed out. I feel fine today; I’ve had plenty of time to myself, which makes me time around the others here actually pleasant.
I suppose I don’t need to view my music or writing in terms of dark or light, happy or sad. Emotions are simply emotions; I don’t have to attach meaning or value to them. I’m still in a bit of pain from my procedure, and I accept it. I try not to think of it as bad because it isn’t. It’s just physical pain, and it will pass. As I read in a book recently, pleasure is not a reward, and pain is not a punishment.
Good words to remember as I go forward, encountering the rest of the day with 166 days of sobriety.