And the convo kept going a bit...

So, lil sis wrote back that she had just returned from a big trip and was having a lot of trouble getting inspired to get back into her work of tile making and pottery - feeling uninspired and disconnected. She referenced my album "Home" as being about "the little things" - which was true. I like the quote from Annie Dillard, "How you spend your days is how you spend your life". That quote has inspired and haunted me as I sometimes watch my days go by with little to show in the way of good work or even remembering what I ate! Too much mindless errand-running, facebooking, TV news, chores, etc. Its so easy to get overwhelmed these days that I find myself needing to space out a bit just to relax. Perhaps there are better ways than Pintrest and Instagram, but I haven't found it yet. :) (kidding).

Anyway, here's what I wrote back to her...again, just sharing some thoughts. I'm just another slob on the bus - with no real answers - just questions and musings...if you have anything to add, feel free to write me. I have turned off the comments because the spamming robots are relentless on here if I don't. 


Yeah - I think Home was about appreciating the smaller finer points of 
being a Southerner and finally embracing that as identity - which I had
always resisted. Lay it Down was a bigger brush but more personal in a
way. What I'm writing these days is all over the map and I'm finding it
harder to write without self-consciousness about "what I have done
before". That's not a good thing. I realized on my drive back from VT the
other day that I have to let myself get completely absorbed in a story or
an emotion so much so that I am not aware of "HERE I AM
WRITING A SONG" - what will people think of it? What will Cliff think of
it? Is it up to my usual quality controls? blah blah blah.... I am reading (slowly) a book called "How Artists Work" on my Kindle and
its fascinating to me the schedules and rituals that some of the greats of
our time set up to encourage that kind of focus. Just as I said the other
day - it's the little movements that create the big tide turning - meaning
when I'm writing a song, I cannot think about "who might
like/cut/record/be impressed by this"? or else I'm already dead
creatively. Similarly, you can't worry about "who's going to buy this/hire
me/put this in a gallery?" or else you lose the thread of your own
connection to the Great Art Source of the Universe :) You have to get an
inkling of inspiration and just follow it even it's nowhere. Ironically
though, when you do that, it's usually your best work. Un-self-conscious. So, firstly, I would encourage you to give yourself a break - sleep a lot -
get over your jet lag by just running errands and having a glass of wine
at night. I would highly encourage taking a long walk everyday and maybe
don't listen to music - just walk. I bet you'll get ideas from keeping
your body busy and letting your mind roam. Find out what inspires you
again while you have this time to yourself and don't put any pressure on
yourself in the meantime. Go to the kooky seminar about energy. Go to the
library and peruse the coffee table art books. Go to a poetry reading. Go
to a museum in the city! TRUST that you are exactly where you need to be
to let the next thing you need come into your life. Sorry, but I actually
believe that shit. Find ways to enjoy your day and stay off facebook and
CNN. The politics right now are just awful. Court the muse and look for
ways to be happy. She will come. The song contest in VT was fun and gratifying. Ten contestants chosen to come
play. I got worried before the contest and just had to keep telling myself
that I was simply going to do the best job I could and let it go. It worked.
I think I gave a good performance that was heartfelt and present. It was a good day.
One day out of thousands, but I was in the moment. It won't lead to fame and
fortune but it is another brick in the wall. I made some new fans. That's
pretty much all I can ask for. I stayed at a beautiful inn down the road that treated
me really well and fed me a gourmet meal. I met some nice people that I drank beer
with and will probably never see again, but no worries. Little things.....feeling satisfied
in the moment and eager for more is where I like to stay. love you, Ouiz

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