Long Way to Go
THE COLORS OF MY LIFE: An Evolution of Songwriting I have always had words in my head, and writing them out has not always been easy for me. It seems like the color or meaning is there long before the words to convey it ever are. Sometimes the words never come, so the feeling hangs around in my head, causing tension or joy, a driving force or loneliness, whatever the case may be. In my younger days, when I never wrote a song until I could accurately convey the colors, I rarely wrote songs. Instead, I had journals full of second-guessing, sadness, self-doubt and plenty of despair. Once in awhile, I would manage to get some decent song-lyrics out of the sadness, but the resulting songs were quite depressing. I could never figure that out, because I didn't always feel sad, but all my thoughts seemed hopelessly entangled with a certain grief. With the influence of other folk-singers and encouraging friends, I began to write songs that were less about my self and more about other people, places and events. I found that I could utilize my tangled-up, sad feelings as background for the songs, instead of as the focal point. This became my new approach to songwriting: every song has a theme, or a plot or a subject outside of my self. My own emotions are the paints, so to speak, that color the songs. Writing this way makes me a happier, less tangled-up person, and gives significance to my vivid emotional life. As much as I admire the work of the greats, I never wanted to follow the example of Van Gogh or other tortured artists who probably would have benefited from therapy or Prozac. Yet I have always known that depression follows me like a shadow. I used to try treating it with medication, until I decided that if I was ever going to truly be happy, it would be by accepting myself as I am, depression and all. I recognize it, embrace it, use it, live with it. Even overcome it several times a day. Write with it. If you can listen to my songs and recognize yourself, or feel happy, or laugh, then I will know that I have successfully tapped my best songwriting ability, and used the colors of my life to their greatest potential. A LITTLE MORE ABOUT ME AND MY WRITING I write about nature, love, work, specific people, people in general, and animals. I write about emotional experiences that probably everyone has in common. Recently, I have taken to writing songs mixing the spiritual with the scientific, as it has helped me to memorize facts for my nursing courses. Case in point: a song called 'Miracle in Shoes' which talks about eukaryotic cells, mitosis, and the electron chain. I do have one main vice among other minor ones: I drink way too much Coke. I especially love cherry Coke on ice - there is just no substitute. I like Mr. Bean and Will Ferrell, except when he is utterly disgusting. I have a great family: a supportive husband and 4 kids who are growing up way too fast. I am going to nursing school, just starting, actually. My theory is that by becoming a nurse, I can support myself, use my nurturing instincts, put my kids through college, and keep being a musician. Perhaps I'll even practice some unofficial music therapy in places where that art is not yet fully embraced or understood.