Archive | August, 2011

My Musical Blame Game

31 Aug

Those who know me, know my deep love affair with music. I have written about it on multiple occasions  and have declared my obsession in all the ways I can think of. Hell, my children should thank their lucky stars I didn’t actually name them something crazy like “Treble Clef” or “Turntable”. I mean, could you image their first day of kindergarten?

“Timothy?” the teacher rings out.

“Here!” Timothy replies.

“Talia?” she calls out once again.

“Present!” Talia replies.

“Treble, um, Treble Clef? Is there a Treble Clef present?”

“I’m right here, BITCH!” My son snarkily screams.

Yeah, as awesome as that scenario sounds, I am willing to bet my little Treble Clef would have one hell of a fucked up childhood. Therapy for the win!

Anyway, as we digress into the wild inner workings of my dark and twisted mind, the revelation that sparked the hamster on the wheel that lives inside my cranium the other day was quite profound. Okay, maybe that is a little bit of a stretch. Profound may be way too big of a word for me to comprehend anyway. So let’s just say that my teeny tiny brain figured out something new. Something new, that quite possibly, I have known all along.

Music can lead you to many, many avenues of creativity.

Now, think about that for a minute. We all know that music can present all kinds of muses in an infinite amount of forms. By merely hearing a melody, greatness can occur. Be it an orchestra, an idea for a screenplay, or even the latest design for that fresh pair of kicks you want to sport on that first date.

But alas, I am not talking about muses here. I am not talking about that inspiration brought on by the melodic sounds that grace your eardrum and tickle the neurons in your brain. No, this is actually less deep than that. It’s really quite simple actually.

As I plugged my iPhone into my auxiliary car jack the other day and hit random, I was transported to my usual state of euphoria when I cranked my stereo up past eleven. But then, seemingly out of nowhere, my brain started to think. And as we all know, for me, thinking is usually quite dangerous.

The very first song to spark the subwoofer was Kanye West’s “Blame Game”. As I listened to the lyrics, I mean ACTUALLY LISTENED to the lyrics, something sparked my interest like no other.

“Things used to be, now they not
anything but us is who we are
disguising ourselves as secret lovers
we’ve become public enemies
we walk away like strangers in the street
gon for eternity
we erased one another
so far from where we came
with so much of everything, how do we leave with nothing
lack of visual empathy equates the meaning of L-O-V-E
hatred and attitude tear us entirely”

And as he finished his verse, he did something totally unexpected. He actually cited the author of the words from whom he borrowed. Underneath his breath he muttered the name “Chloe Mitchell“.

Kind of taken back, I was instantly intrigued with who this woman could be. So, as soon as I pulled into work and sat down at my computer, my fingers pounded my keyboard in search of Chloe Mitchell. And what I found was so hauntingly and most definitely the most beautifully harsh love poem I have ever read.

*****

Your Bitter Is My Sweet/Blame Game

Things used to be. Now they’re not. Anything but us is who we are. Disguising ourselves as secret lovers, we’ve become public enemies. We walk away like strangers in the street. Gone for eternity, we erase one another. No phone calls. No sweet text messages. We are mere specs of particles, floating, unknown to our partners’ existence. So far from where we came. With so much of everything, how do we leave with nothing? Lack of visual empathy equates to the meaning of L.O.V.E. Hatred and attitude tear us entirely. We meet at opposite poles and no longer can we bond like love birds to a song or flowers to a Daisy. The air smells of rotten love and burned hearts. We have trashed our over cooked love that now accompanies the bin of deceit. Don’t turn around. Continue walking away. Disappear into that darkness that rests upon your gritty shoulders. Let that dark cloud follow you wherever you go. So long ex-lover. Farewell.

-Chloe Mitchell

Wow. I mean, WOW. I was just astonished by what I had read. Her words struck a chord so deep I actually had goosebumps. If you have ever had a breakup in your life, I am sure you could relate on some level. If not, you’re a lucky one and I pity your delicate soul.

So, without warning, music let me to discover something I never knew existed. It did not inspire me. It did not give me that creative muse like it has done a multitude of times before. No, this time it was different. This time music allowed me to discover someone else’s pain, someone else’s creativity. And I, for one, am so glad it did.

The Planes Of Paper

30 Aug

“Here, daddy.” he says with a devilish grin.

“I made you something.”

As I glance down to see what his tiny palm has in store, I see his eyes light up with the type of joy only a five-year old boy possesses.

“Isn’t it the coolest, dad?”  he says with the pitch and fervor of a used car salesman.

There, clutched in-between his fingers, lies a piece of red construction paper. It’s folded with the finest precision of any origami you’ve ever laid your eyes on. Markings of crayola and assorted superhero stickers adorn each and every side as badges of pride and accomplishment.

As he hands his masterpiece to me, he whispers underneath his breath “Now, be VERY careful with this. I have been working super hard, dad.” At this point, his words were gospel. He had been working feverishly for the last hour on this project. And now it was time for him to taste the fruits of his labor.

“Now, repeat after me.” I told him.

Together, we chanted in perfect harmony.

“1…2…3…”

And with that, his gift to me took flight. His finely constructed paper plane glided through the air just as his intentions hoped it would. With each and every crash landing, he would pick up his creation, make adjustments, and pitch it up into the stratosphere of our living room again and again.

In that very moment, I learned something from my son. He wasn’t just showing me how to fly a paper plane. No, he was teaching me something more profound, more intricate than his brain could conceptualize.

You WILL crash and burn. Over and over again. And there isn’t a damned thing you can do about it. But unlike that paper plane that will eventually go into the trash can, you have a choice. You can sit there and wallow in your own pity. You can loathe in your own insecurities. Or even worse, make the decision to never set foot on a plane of any kind again.

Or you can choose a different route, a different flight so to speak. You can get up, straighten your edges, and pilot your own plane, your own path.

As the sounds of my son’s laughter fill my ears, I sit down, grab a piece of my son’s coveted construction paper, and begin to construct my own masterpiece. After all, I’ve had my fair share of the crashes. I’ve had enough of the burning. It’s time to take flight once again. And even if I do crash and burn, I’ll have the know-how, the wherewithal to build a brand new plane. And I have the tiniest aeronautical engineer and the most infectious giggle to thank for teaching me just that.

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