Tuesday, August 3, 2010


As trivial and weird as it may seem, I suppose that I consider myself somewhat of a writer. I grew up with delusions of writing something that would stand the test of time. My seventh grade teacher, Mrs. Britt, even wrote in my yearbook telling me that she knew that someday she would read something thatI had penned. I kind of scoff at that in some ways. I mean, I do write currently, but never have I thought of myself as having something poignant and transcendent to say.

I have been somewhat addicted to this little video of John Mark McMillan - the North Carolina songwriter who wrote "How He Loves". It is a supposed to be a story behind the song about how he was just living life and suddenly one of his friends was killed in a car accident. Being that he is a musician, he turned to music to help deal with the pain. Being a believer, these songs and lyrics were written in complete honesty. But that is not the selling point of the video to me. The part that shines is where he is looking through old lyrics that he has written and through the pain that takes over his whole being, you can tell there are pasts voicing themselves out of those pages. Within that bound book there are stories that some people will never hear or read, but they are powerful and transcendent of themselves. Music is a powerful vessel for a lot of people. Just imagine what power it holds for those who eat, sleep, cry, dream, obsess, write, create, envision, bleed it.

Over the past 12 years, I have written/tossed/obsessed over many songs. From my point of view, none of them are memorable enough. Oddly, they always have a way of dragging me back to where I was when I wrote them. I suppose I do drive myself to the brink of insanity when each one is composed. I used to worry that other people would find them poignant and expressive. I have often said that hearing people sing along with a song I wrote was one of my biggest achievements. It means that somewhere along the way I was blessed enough to compose something from the dark recesses of my brain that actually meant something to someone. That for at least a moment, we share a time and space that is immovable and powerful. We can feel each other's pain or loss or joy. There is no bond greater than the one found together in the timing and placement of a song. Sure, we all have different experiences and some things ring truer for others, but we can understand each other's pain.

I'm not exactly sure where I'm going with this, or that I even had a direction to begin with. I had some very odd news happen to me this evening and I know that it will inevitably lead to me writing some variance of a song in the coming days. And one day, I will play this song, either in front of a crowd or on my front porch, and think back to this night where I felt lost and a little hurt, and hopefully I can look back with feelings of joy - joy that I either overcame the problems of this night or that I utilized a moment the way it was meant to be utilized. I want to make the most of my moments even if that means that in 10 or 20 years I am just being choked up while reading a book of old lyrics to myself. Maybe the transcendent part of writing is that whatever is written evokes a change in me.

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