Me and music–what a love story. Ours is a complicated relationship, fraught with drama and pathos. You see, music touches me in some very deep places and sometimes I don’t want to be touched in those places, because they’re just too tender, too vulnerable, too raw. On the other hand, I need music in much the same way I need water, food and sleep–when I’m avoiding my music (my muse?), I lack the energy, focus, strength to create. Obviously, that isn’t good.
Music inspires me. It energizes me. It won’t allow me to check out and avoid my feelings–instead, it brings them straight to the surface. I have to laugh, cry, dance–or write.
As a young woman, I really hated doing housework–who doesn’t?–and when I had cleaning to do–and couldn’t possibly wiggle out of it :)–I would put on a record–wait for it–of John Phillip Sousa’s rousing marches. You can imagine how strange it would have seemed to an objective observer–me, sweeping through my work on the march! I finished in no time and I was exhilerated in the bargain. It was wonderful.
When I listen to music, my heart opens. That’s enormously helpful with writing or any other creative endeavor but, as I’ve hinted above, it can be very painful, too.
What stirs me most when I’m writing? Country music–Johnny Cash, Marty Robbins, Emmilou Harris, Randy Travis, and many others. Gospel is another favorite–it inspires and soothes, uplifts and restores.
The good news is, I’ve found my music again–by finding the courage to open my heart and let it in.
Music is like prayer for me, as is art.
I just have to be brave enough to go there.