Music is most often the rabbit hole that brings me back to writing. It’s something about the calisthenics of words interwoven with musical notes that just seems to put me back into the comfort of that place of creativity. It’s a rabbit hole, though, to be sure. I don’t go gently into my creative space…I fall and tumble and lose myself, much like Alice. But once the stumbling is over and I find myself deeply ensconced in the role of creator, it really is a Wonderland. To awaken in that place is magic itself. You are both smaller and taller and jumbled and strange. It is a peculiar place to be in. But the creative rabbit hole is also a sort of Nirvana. It’s a place where you can leave yourself behind and just be this pseudo-observer. You walk through the madness and your fingers knit a story while your feet keep you grounded.
Today it was Seal’s Crazy that put me into a tailspin. It was one of those songs that spoke to me from the instant I first heard it. It felt like I had always known it…like I will always know it. In a sky full of people, only some want to fly…isn’t that crazy? I can’t help but feel the power of his words. Do only a handful of us strive? I have always lived my life believing we’re never gonna survive unless we get a little crazy. ALWAYS. I think perhaps we find more wonder when we shed convention. Run, don’t walk, as it were.
I am trying to resist slipping into another post about David Bowie, but it’s difficult. From my first hearing of Crazy, it reminded me of Bowie. I thought, ‘Oh yeah…I know of someone who is crazy! And that someone WANTS to fly. That someone IS flying!’ It was, in my mind, as though the song was written for the Bowies and the Jaggers and the Bolans and the Shakespeares and the Byrnes and the Lennons of the world. Our shining examples of those who go after the silver goblet and DRINK! What is it about these people that makes them capable of funneling their creativity and staying on task? How hot the fire that keeps them burning!
As the details of Bowie’s death became clear throughout the day yesterday, I discovered just how hot his fire burned. He masterfully pulled off one last art-show for his adoring fans. It’s really unfathomable. He orchestrated a gift in his last album, his last video, his last song…
At the end of the video LAZARUS, when he backed into the wardrobe and disappeared, it was all I could do to stop myself from screaming and bawling and—yes—applauding. He pulled off the greatest **drops mic** moment in history. He dropped his mic and exited the world. He achieved the most amazing thing. Immortality. How hot the fire that burned in him…that even while he died, he created art.
I am in awe. But it also makes me feel sad and filled with self-pity. I want to want that. I want that drive. I know I want it, and yet I cannot just take it. I go to write and find myself vegging out or fidgeting or what have you. I want to make magic with words, but the fire and the drive is not there. It never was. I want to take it seriously. I want to feel the urge so badly that there is nothing else I’d rather do but write.
But do I want to fly? That is the question. Because if I did, wouldn’t I be doing it by now? I know about surviving in the crazy. And I thought I wanted to fly. God knows when I heard the song again, I thought, ‘YES! YES! That’s me! I want to fly!’ And then I thought of Bowie, on his deathbed…creating. Sigh. Every time in the past, when he entered into my periphery it was with a lesson. Why should now be any different? Stop wasting time. Get off your ass. DO.
Thank you, Seal. You gave a voice to the immortals among us. You held them up as an example of what humans are capable of…if only they strive to reach their best selves. Men can become giants. If only they don’t forget to be a little crazy. In a world full of people, we should ALL want to fly…that’s not crazy.
What an amazing, thought-provoking post. You’ve helped me understand a little better what music means to wrtiers’ craft. I used to write to AC DC blaring just to drown out all the needy kids noise. It was never to seek inspiration for words yet to fill the page.