This is day 14 of 30-day blog challenge. Read day 13 “Social media strategy”
We all have those days where our heads ache, we’re overwhelmed and just plain tired. Being stuck inside and trying to focus with the entire family around is difficult. Humans are creatures of habit, and cabin fever affects me as much as not being able to stick to my routines.
When moments, days and weeks where I have trouble focusing come around I often resort to a few classics to re-inspire myself. I’ll post them in no particular order so I can keep plowing through this 30-day blog challenge, despite having a headache and moody toddlers.
Russell Eldridge playing “All Alone” with Delusional Mind
This was the first show my husband played with the band he joined a few months before we met. I wasn’t at the show, but it happened two days after my birthday. I used to watch this song on repeat while I wrote sappy poetry about finding true love and living happily ever after. This video to me means hope. I’m sure Russell wrote the lyrics thinking about the people who had broken his heart, and I’m sure he performed it this night without even knowing I existed. But it worked. The melodies and the mood joined forces to touch my heart. Sappy. But, when I’m distracted or otherwise feeling moody, I watch the video to see where we were all those years ago. And how far we’ve come.
e.e. cummings and love
(of Ever-Ever Land i speak sweet morons gather roun’ who does not dare to stand or sit may take it lying down) down with the human soul and everything else uncanned for everyone carries canopeners in Ever-Ever Land (for Ever-Ever Land is a place that’s as simple as simple can be and was built that way on purpose by simple people like we) down with hell and heaven and the religious fuss infinity pleased our parents one inch looks good to us (and Ever-Ever Land is a place that’s measured and safe and known where it’s lucky to be unlucky and the hitler lies down with the cohn) down above all with love and everything perverse or which makes some feel more better when all ought to feel less worse (but only sameness is normal in Ever-Ever Land for a bad cigar is a woman but a gland is only a gland)
I often think about the above e.e. cummings poem around Valentine’s Day, with its line about love being perverse and making only some feel more better when all ought to feel less worse. His purposeful freedom with breaking grammar rules fueled my sense of rebellion as a young writer. I don’t like all his poems, but this one has stuck in my mind for decades.
The Sandman by Neil Gaiman
The Sandman books acted as my companion throughout high school. The characters became my siblings, and the metaphors became my inspiration. I still aspire to write like Gaiman one day. But this particular image and quote centers me in some of my beliefs about the nature of good and evil in the world. Without getting religious, I know in my heart that the good and the evil men do is carried in their hearts. When you allow too much negativity and hate into your life, you carry it. It cuts you down and keeps you hurting. I try not to carry hell around with me anymore. I work to live in the moment and let the past go, while always “giving the devil his due.”
Tool: “Right in Two”
Again, not to get too into religious ideas, I’ll just say that this song in particular sums up the answer to why bad things happen to good people. Free will. Whatever you believe, you must accept that mankind has free will. We make choices to destroy our planet, our resources and ourselves. We carry around hate and project it onto everything in our path. This song reminds me that I have the power to change only myself and feel the positive energy in the world. And it’s Tool. The progression and song dynamics have such power over me.
Other inspirations to keep me going
I resort to listening to much of the music that got me through my teenage years: Tool, Ani DiFranco, Radiohead and Tori Amos are often quick choices when I’m feeling uninspired. I also listed to Dream Theater quite often. Music has that power to help us find ourselves by getting lost in chord progressions, pounding drums and whispered lyrics. Art, especially surrealist art can also revive my senses as does poetry. Trying to make sense out of things that are purposefully skewed, I guess, resets my ability to create.