Illuminations From Within
Why Am I Like This?
Sometimes, I try to force myself to write about A Specific Subject in the hopes of conveying something resembling intellectual fortitude through my writing. Those occasions might result in a finished piece, but it’s hollow compared to the density of ideas contained within my humble head (heart).
I am positively brimming with ideas. None of them are particularly difficult to execute or earth-shatteringly original. But there are just so many of them. Here’s a simple-sample brain list from today:
Compose a worthwhile essay
Design a new ring (*ahem* I make jewelery sometimes)
Record videos of myself pulling oracle cards (*ahem* I made an oracle deck recently)
Cook up something interesting for dinner
Practice some of the - I’m guessing - 9 million songs in my repertoire
Paint cool things onto leather objects
Make a music video with my son and husband
Edit my manuscript
Add a bunch of chores and personal care things that need to be done, and considering what day jobs I might be able to fit into my weird and specific life, and you get a sense of why I cannot decide what to do with my luxurious free time. I usually spend it reading, which is a wonderful use of time, but I feel as though I’m not outputting enough of myself into the atmosphere.
The right particles of myself.
I have some really spectacular stories in me.
Where are they?
Buried under heaps of laundry and/or baggage from past lives or past incarnations of myself in this life?
When I was a really small child, I remember watching Fairy Tale Theatre with Shelley Long. I didn’t retain any of the stories told - zero, in fact - but I do recall the dark sparkly backdrops, the haunted eyes of the host/producer, and the questionable costumes and garish makeup of the performers who appeared on the show.
What stories were told to me when I was young?
Books told most of the stories that weren’t my parents’, and until I was introduced to libraries, there weren’t many from which to choose. Cartoony nonsense we all grew up with. Muppets and puppets and TV guide. And horror.
The mysterious nature of my memories keeps the essence of whatever these things did to me gently bubbling away for decades.
What kinds of songs were sung to me when I was young?
My mom singing “If I Had A Hammer,” the song’s subtler origins as a protest song against segregation unbeknownst to me, and to her - the Peter, Paul and Mary version surely occupying a little nook in her headspace since her own childhood.
Hugging Alison Mosshart and Brody Dalle in alleyways. Patti Smith's hands on the child in my belly.
The copy of Meaty Beaty Big And Bouncy on cassette in my dad’s car when we joined him on one of his weekends; a rare road trip vibe to that particular adherence to custodial arrangements.
They call me the seeker…
Standing in front of a giant, wooden floor television agape at Cyndi Lauper lip-synching onscreen. Michael Jackson. Whitney Houston.
How did I end up making songs?
Writing poems on paper soon to be discarded in shame or lost to neglect. Dancing and singing for nobody at all to witness.
How does it all end up becoming official? Public?
Are you gonna go my way?
There’s a clue in the copious number of ideas I mentioned above. It’s something about picking one and running with it, and feeling that it’s The One.
Nirvana and Fugees and Velvet Underground and Mama’s and Papa’s.
The Punk Show. The Wedge. Tracy Chapman. XTC.
It all looks so random on paper, but like my mental list of ideas, it all amounts to something in the end. Down the line, after years of love and trauma, and all-ages shows in Button Factories and Legions and getting to know bands as people and not just ethereal entities emanating from speakers and screens, it all adds up.
Buffy Sainte Marie's psych-synth-folk Illuminations in my ears while I paint.
The sum of far too many parts, scattered and dysmorphic; so utterly sincere as to appear fraudulent to the uninitiated.
You have many talents…