People have said to me “I don’t know how you get time to blog when you are so busy!”
Other bloggers have said to me that when they are busy they have no time to blog, but when they have time to blog they have nothing to say.
I can sort of understand that, but I can also say that it doesn’t quite work that way for me.
My blog has become part of the process. Totally integrated into my practice. It is through writing the blog to a (mostly) unseen audience that I can get things into perspective and make sense of them.
I have mentioned that things aren’t going so well in the studio.They are still not, really, but I’ve been plugging away. I don’t believe in artists’ or writers’ block. You can poo-poo that if you like, its just my opinion. I could sit there feeling sorry for myself, or, I can get on with stuff. By “stuff” I mean I sort the place out, take things off the wall, put things up, make tea, invite other artists and musicians in. I trick the musicians into a collaboration (generally using a combination of beer and baking) and have a jolly time. With the artists we talk about the work and show each other what we are doing, including the work we are stuck on. Usually at some point, during the talking, the enforced stitching, and the tea, a connection is made and off I go again. If I’m up a cul-de-sac, then it’s my responsibility to reverse and try a different way, not someone else’s, or God’s, or Fate. Get on with it and stop making excuses. Of course… if you don’t want to, that’s a different problem, not a “block”!
I’m up a cul-de-sac. There. Admitted.
It has been a little longer than usual between posts. This isn’t because I don’t have anything to write, it’s more about what angle I write from. This is maybe the key for me. A description of my day, my breakfast, or even my work isn’t enough. It isn’t what I want to read in other people’s blogs, and it isn’t what I write in my own because it doesn’t get me anywhere. I wanted to get out of the cul-de-sac I think, before I posted again.
What I want to write about is cause and effect. Events and people, being affected by each other…Up to now, for quite a while now, this is how it has been:
- I did this today, with x, and y.
- It made me feel Q
- I remembered feeling Q about 20 years ago
- Q is what my mother used to warn me about
- This dress is like the one she wore.
- Take it out on the dress.
- X and Y think it reminds them of something completely different.
- Conversation ensues, the swapping of stories and memories
- A group of words lodge themselves in my brain and join up with others.
- A philosophy forms and attaches itself to existing philosophies
- A song happens.
- The song lodges in the ears of A and B
- A and B sing it in B and Q (but not the Q I mentioned before)
- C hears it… sings it two hours later without any idea where it came from.
- Strands of song, story and stitch have had an effect…
Of course, I’m not one to follow a recipe. There’s always the possibility that 11 happens somewhere between 4 and 6…
Throw into that mix a coincidence, an opportunity, or too much gluten, and anything can happen.
This week, somewhere between 7 and 10, P wrote a song too!
Which brings me to the Songwriting Circle. Something in one of my rambling blogs sparked a thought and a philosophy for someone else, and she wrote a very beautiful, very moving song. I loved it! Cause and Effect…
But I’ve stalled…
I’m prone to looking at things out of the corner of my eye, because sometimes, sneaking up on something sideways gives you a truer view. Maybe, I’m not really getting into making anything because something else is in the way. An opportunity I should give time and credence to. A while back, during a set-up collaboration session, I got shut in a room with three other songwriters. An hour later we had a really good, fully formed song. We were thrilled with ourselves. It has taken a while, but we have decided we should pursue this relationship. It worked well. We got on well, we all had different things to contribute… so we have made a date. This time, 3 or 4 hours, just to see what happens…
I reverse out of the cul-de-sac….
I clearly still have a chip on my shoulder about not being a “proper” musician. Why on earth would these three experienced writers, performers and excellent musicians want to write with me ffs? Also, I am a visual artist, so who the hell do I think I am writing songs? This is the me that often looks back at me from the mirror.
This week, I have chosen to ignore that version of me. I prefer the opinion of the other me. The other me looks slightly askance at things, the corner of the eye thing…
The other me is rather a show-off. The other me has bought a charity shop blue velvet jacket “to sing in”. The other me writes good songs. The other me is interesting to those other writers because she isn’t a musician. Things come out a little bit wonky, but that can be exciting, different. The other me doesn’t break the rules, because she doesn’t know them. The other me has hundreds of lyrics waiting for music. It is about time, I think, that the chippy me got elbowed out of the way by the velvet-clad singing me. Because that one, at the moment, knows exactly where she’s going.
The dead-end is the cause. So a change in direction… don’t know for how long… is the effect.
My ideas lately, formed, but not yet in the visual, have spoken of the effect we have on each other. It seems that instead of illustrating it, I get to live it instead…
I should trust the other one to drive for a while.