In another life I am a songwriter, likely a piano based performer of my own songs, or perhaps a conductor of a small orchestra. Some of the songs I write are upbeat, proclaiming a love of life, the beauty of a moment stolen, the quiet joy of a tiny yellow flower breathing life into a crack in the pavement. I will write songs and conjure the words for those moments that sear into your brain, that breath catching kiss, the surge of your heart from a stolen look.
I know too that some of my songs would veer towards deep melancholy, thoughts of moments lost, visions of an existence in the dull light of a winter dusk. Together these songs will paint a full picture of a life well lived, love given, glee, despair, hope, and the embracing of all emotions.
My lyrics will be what people remember, an internal (unspoken) goal. The turn of phrase, spinning a web of evocative imagery across all the emotions of life and those words will slowly reveal the most honest version of myself to all who stumble across them.
“But there isn’t words yet for the comfort I getFly Boy Blue/Lunette – Elbow (lyrics by Guy Garvey)
From the gentle lunette at the top of the nape of the neck that I wake to”
I will revisit the words I create over and over, and through them discover more about myself than I’d previously known and the cycle will continue again through growth and decay, through event and happening, as I evolve, learn, destroy, build, laugh and love.
As you well know, dear reader, ’twas ever thus. A life written in parts, words thrown hastily onto the screen, re-ordered, edited and occasionally hitting the heights I aspire to, more often than not becoming yet more digital detritus to rightly ignore.
I write such thoughts down infrequently, I have never written a song.
Yes I journal, but not as a habit, more as a tool that I stumble across when I most need it, throwing words in there as fast I can, letting my brain express train onwards, ripping emotions red raw and slamming them into black and white. I take some solace from the act itself, letting the truth that appears in the gaps emerge, the pauses there letting me breath again. I don’t need this as often as I have in the past, a sign I take as growth, contentment, happiness. I know I should capture more of the peaks, yet it’s the troughs that have always dragged me in, the depths that drag me down to a place I find more comfortable.
My self-worth pushes me away from allowing positive value to attach itself. Happiness is firmly held in an ever-fleeting grip, I enjoy life as best I can yet I remain wary. Do I deserve this? When will it be stolen from me again? I have long tried to shift this view, to hold my life lightly, but such habits are limpets on a rock.
A few years ago I sought out a counsellor who helped me realise some of these things. Coaxing me towards a point in my life that turned everything upside down, a single event that I had accepted so wholly that I didn’t even realising I was running from it. The event itself isn’t important, but it’s effect on me was dramatic and still reverberates, influencing who I am today as a man, as a partner, as a husband, as a father.
I write all of this more to try and capture yet another tiny moment in my life that I hope will produce a new outcome. The details remain journal locked but yet here I am, shouting into the void once more, yet with hope that my voice will hold strong over the swell of the assembled masses, instruments bearing me forth on the melody of my life.
I am content that it is this way, I remain a fascination to myself and no doubt a bore to most. My introspective posts are both the worst and best aspects of my blogging habit, I know this, I embrace it.
These are my lyrics, the melody of my life is varied, and yet it is more and more song than it is noise. I am a bad conductor finally wielding the baton I’ve held for so long with some form of expertise. Maybe one day my orchestra will fall into line… no.
My song is increasingly more major key than minor, so let meet me live for the triangle player missing the beat by a fraction, for the single oboe that falters on the high notes, for the plucked string of a cello that finally snaps after far too many years of mishandling. That’s where life is for me, the imperfections, those tiny moments that will live in your mind far longer than the sound of this song.
There are so many highs to be found there, moments of clarity, of joy, and it’s here that the upside down nature of my song falls. A beauty in the final ebbing tones that I cling to, for they are mine, and they are good.