What’s there for you when you’ve come undone? And will not judge when it’s time to run? What’s there when life feels limitless?
The Road is.
The road is presently covered in snow and ice. The road will take you to school and back and the Costco to buy supplies for the retreat this weekend. The road is looking easier than staying because, man, you suck at this.
The Road is.
I wrote a new song on Sunday night into early Monday sitting at the kitchen table playing really soft so as not to wake anyone up. I had been fishing and trying and fishing and trying all weekend until it hit me. Do you know how good that feels? In a world where I’m bad at keeping house and raising kids and being a good friend and volunteer and wife and church lady, the hitting upon a new song is like plunging into one of those tropical Hawaiian secret lagoons with a waterfall like you see in the movies. One tiny moment of bliss and respite before going back into the salt mines.
I liked it so much that I turned it in to Kerrville New Folk on a whim after frantically trying to edit the darn thing over the past three days. I even took my thesaurus and synonym/antonym book with me to breakfast duty yesterday morning in search of the right word.
Dudes. I never use helps and also, it’s been a long time since I’ve wanted to really roll up my sleeves and edit.
Since the beginning of the year, I’ve been living in a song factory and I love it. I’ve been writing for the podcast (Hey check out “Prompt Queens!”) and I’ve been writing for an online class I’m talking with Peter Himmelman. He’s the best. He’s fearless. His eyes focus in on the things I love and also the things I understand. I’ve been taught wonderful lessons by many different teachers. The lessons that really sink in are the ones coming from the teachers who instinctively understand the writers voices of their students. That’s a fancy way of saying HImmelman’s so good because it feels like he gets me. And I would predict every one of his students would say the same things. His creative eyes are wide open even in the responses he offers to songs he hears. Do you know how unique that is? An instructor who does not abandon wonder and curiosity when he has to put on his coveralls and go to work? That’s awesome. To me, it’s exceptional.
And I love fearlessness and I love abandon and I love that guy. (And Jon knows. Jon listens kindly while I gush on Himmelman, Scott, Branan, Hillman, all those guys)
His advice to me that I’ve been thinking about? “Make less sense. Let loose some more.”
I understand what he means. I do not understand how to do it.
Isn’t “Make less sense and let loose more” pretty much the opposite of everything everyone is telling us all the time? Do a job that makes sense, order your life sensibly, keep it together, button it up, salt mines, salt mines, salt mines. Dollar dollar bills, y’all.
The road is not far off. You’re on it right now. Does it feel free or taxing? Does it feel heavy or light? I can say this week it has felt effing hard but then I plunged into a tropical lagoon with a new song, I remembered how much I love writing and how I love my sons and husband (who is contractually obligated to love me forever even when he doesn’t want to). Make less sense, let loose some more. Himmelman is a good teacher. I’m going to give it a go.
You know who makes the road effing hard? Not the road. I do. I make it hard. I make it mean hard things. I make it become a test of wit and skill and it isn’t. Here’s the thing. The road is just the road. My brain is choosing to define it in a way that feels safe and comfortable. My brain likes what it likes and if I’m used to calling the road a real pain in my ass then that’s exactly what it will always be until the day I wake up and say, “That’s not working for me anymore.”
I’ve awoken many times with that feeling. “This ain’t working for me anymore.”
Then I forget and have to remember all over again.
Today I feel like deciding that the road can make less sense. I think I’m going to pretend like the road can be free and loose until I’m not pretending anymore because it really is. Stay amazing and go show ‘em what you’ve got. Love,