I thought about calling this post “I’ll Be Brief” in order to remind myself to do so. Yesterday I set out to write a “brief” post, and yet somehow it consumed five hours of the early morning, and wound up becoming eleven paragraphs in length.
In all that verbosity, it seems I inadvertently obfuscated the information that I have moved. Yes – I have finally left my 14-month tenure at the apartments euphemistically known as “Friendship Square.” The good news is that I am no longer surrounded by felons, cons, tweakers, thieves, and hustlers. The bad news is that it’s going to cost me an extra $175/mo. But the good news is that it’s worth it.
In the confusion, I have been composing compulsively. When I compose music, I am somehow completely focused. I enjoy the process very much, even if the product is lacking. When I write text, however, I am almost completely unfocused. Yet, yet, yet — everybody seems to like my verbal writings, and almost nobody appreciates my musical writings. It’s a sore spot for me. I didn’t go to a Conservatory of Music in order to spend all my time writing about Homelessness.
Then again, what is it that made me homeless to begin with? I mean — outside of socio-economic factors, what was it about me that caused me not only to become homeless, but actually to embrace Homelessness? (That is, before I literally got the sense knocked into me.)
Quite simply, life was not rendering me enough space to focus on writing my music. Ah – I remember it well – the last straw. In April 2011, I was living in a small house with the landlord, his four year old boy, and another roommate. I had been homeless before, off and on for seven years. So I knew that I could generally handle it. But could I handle the four year old boy bursting into my bedroom, right at the moment when I was making the final edits to The Crying of the Muse, shouting “Hiya!” and waving a large plastic spear over his head?
It seems the young fellow wanted to joust with me. And don’t get me wrong – I would gladly have taken up my spear, and jousted with him at another time. But he just happened to throw me off of my delicate musical balance at that moment — and enough was enough. I needed space.
So, in order to find the space I needed, I quite naturally headed to Berkeley, California, where I figured I would “blend” with approximately 1,000 other homeless blokes, and write my music invisibly, without such annoying intrusions.
It worked for a while, till the thrill was gone. And Friendship Square worked for a while, too. Here’s to a new and more productive chapter of my highly-driven, restless life. I’ve gotten as far with my current compulsive composing as meets the eyes and ears below. The eyes see a telling view of Friendship Square at night, illuminated as if with fireworks. The ears will hear a fraction of the piece tentatively entitled the New Royal Rhapsody. Please enjoy — if at all possible.
Art is Hard Work.
They keep firing me because I’m absent-minded and too easily stressed.
Art will never fire me, nor will I quit Art.
Please pay me for it here.
6 thoughts on “The Crying of the Muse”
another EXCELLENT write ! good luck on your new adventure :-)
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Thank you, kind sir. And may the Journey never end.
Good going with the move, Andy. Thinking maybe you could reconcile doing both writing and composing, but I do get what you mean. I’m a pretty good artist (if I say so myself) but I need new challenges at certain points in my life, so the arts end up accumulating in me and as you say above ‘Art will never fire me, nor will I quit Art’.
If by Artist you mean the general term (not the specific, such as “painter”) — I would contend you’re a bit more than “pretty” good. (Just thought you should know.)
About reconciling the two disparate Art forms, I’m working on it. They require such completely different mental thought processes, I might be able to compartmentalize them better according to how I am feeling at the moment — that is, do I *feel* like composing? Or do I *feel* like writing prose, poetry, or dialogue? When I try to reconcile them according to fixed schedule, it never seems to work. I wind up feeling guilty when this happens, as though I’m a spoiled child who just wants to get his way, and not do the task at hand.
Somebody approached me at the cafe here once and said: “You must be self-employed.”
“Why do you say that?” I asked.
“Because your boss is a slave driver.”
It does also seem like projects accumulate and sometimes even wind up unfinished or abandoned. I’ve been told that this is a function of Attention Defecit Hyperactive Disorder. But because I have a subjective tendency to view Psychiatry as the Enemy of Art, I am not sure if I can completely buy into that diagnosis.
I *have* noticed that you and I are *somewhat* alike – as one “INFJ” to another. But so much for codificatin, classification, categorization, and cubbyhole. (So much for alliteration as well.)
I’m a bit too slaphappy for a Monday morning, and I’d probably best sign off and get back to work. Thanks so much for your ongoing support. Oh – and by the way, tell me how to get a copy of *On Turtle Beach* and I’ll read it. Thanks again.
Is that your composition? It’s lovely :-D
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Thanks, Diana. They’re both mine — “The Crying of the Muse” (check link) from 2011, and the New Royal Rhapsody (in progress) from, like, a couple of days ago. I’m glad you took the time to listen. :)
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