This week has been an emotional roller coaster of Oy.
I wasn't in Boston this week, and I haven't been in almost five years. But Monday brought flashbacks to the last terror attack I lived through, when I lived in Israel. It's hard. Nobody should ever have to live through something like that. Nobody. I've relived a lot of things this week I didn't expect to. I keep thinking about the conversation I had with one of my friends who grew up during the Intafada, where you would leave home in the morning with no way of knowing if you were ever going to get home again.
The conversation when I asked her how she did it.
How they all did it.
"You just do." she said.
You just keep going.
And so we do. We always do.
With that in mind, this week's inspiration may make more sense.
My music tends to reflect my moods, and definitely affects the mood that I'm trying to convey when I write. I've written before about conditioning yourself into creativity using music. This week has been about finding new music as I start a new WIP. (Gulp.)
Confession: I love a Capella. A lot.
As evidenced by the abuse my Pandora a Cappella station gets.
And my obsessive love of The Sing Off. (season 4 next year!! And the latest PTX vid...)
There are two songs that I have on repeat now when I write- and both of them are versions done by Vocal Point, the a Cappella group at BYU.
(There are few things cuter than Mormon boys singing a Cappella.)
Danny Boy and Black Balloon.
And while I think you should go listen to both songs, these were the lyrics that grew hooks and grabbed onto my heart.
"So if you've died and crossed the stream before us
We pray that angels came and met you on the shore" -Danny Boy
"Coming down the world turned over
And angels fall without you there
And I go on as you get colder
Or are you someone's prayer"-Black Balloon
The new WIP is a lot darker than my last one was- dealing with some pretty heavy themes. The style of writing is pretty different, too. But one of the themes that flows through pretty strongly is the concept of being someone else's prayer.
That was one of the questions that the WIP is based on: When the world gives up on someone, what (if anything) can save them? Salvation is a sticky subject- regardless of who you're trying to save, even if it's yourself. When it comes to things like mental illness and substance abuse, the line blurs- normally what we say is you can't change someone who doesn't want to change, but what do you do when someone's lack of changing will be dangerous for themselves and other people? It's a whole different game you find yourself in- where the rules aren't nearly as well-defined. And when someone is forced into changing, what is the probability of them staying that way? Then you fall down the rabbit hole of the argument of whether someone can change if they don't want to at all, or if somewhere deep down we can assume they want to.
I just reread this, and wow, I'm particularly rambley and melancholy today. So, I'm going to stop now, before I suck you down into the strange abyss that is my mind and what goes on when I start thinking- right now we're teetering on the edge. But since we're already talking about music, here is one more song that is getting me through this week.
"And when the cloud in the sky
Starts to pour in your life
It's just a storm
Well don't tell yourself
You can't lean on someone else
Because we all need saving
-We All Need Saving, John McLaughlin
There are some weeks that we despair for humanity. There are weeks that we wonder if anything will get better.
It always does.
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