"You don't get harmony when everybody sings the same note." --Doug Floyd
If you hear a voice within you say "you cannot paint," then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced. ~Vincent Van Gogh
Awhile back, hubby and I yanked out the guitars, plugged in the vintage amps and took the digital recording equipment out for a spin. One of the classic songs we worked on is a long-time favorite: "Wild Horses" by the Rolling Stones. I memorized this tune back at the tender age of fifteen *gasp!* and to this day relish the intricate chord changes and plaintive lyrics. Love it, love it, love it… Except for one pesky little detail. Singing in the dreaded key of G.
Now I could transpose the chords or slap on a capo but for the accompanying lead guitarist, that’s a pain in the arse. There are those too who would argue that the richness and depth of the original chords are compromised.
Flash back to a few days earlier. Sipping a fine glass of cabernet, we’d been listening to the "Rolling Stones Rarities" album. The version on this disc has a blues feel, more vibrant and intense. Something about the husky tone in Mick's wail reverberated inside my soul. Suddenly, I just *knew*. The urge to redo the song thundered in my veins. So after hubby patiently arranged the microphones just so, and we dashed through the chord changes a couple of times, we gave it a go.
"Faith is believing in things when common sense tells you not to." ~George Seaton
Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase. ~Martin Luther King Jr.
The first verse came out in a wobbly squeak, rather like an adolescent boy pushing maturity. A sure sign of the frustrating inability to Find My Note. Yet when the haunting chorus came around, I somehow magically tapped in. Faltering at first, but I could *feel* the correct pitch somewhere deep within my bones. By the second verse, I miraculously clung to the note for a few more seconds, astonished to hear myself singing in this impossible key. What a wild, incredible, brilliant rush. Yet… Could I hold it?
"Trust your own instinct. Your mistakes might as well be your own, instead of someone else's." ~Billy Wilder
Each time I'd begin anew… The exhilaration would snatch me up, toss my soul into the wind and I’d thrill in a wave of ecstasy hearing the clear chime of My Note. Up until that fateful moment when I realized (with a rush of stark fear) what I was doing… *snort* At which point, my voice would once again wobble and squeak and my spirits would plunge down to the ground.
Argue for your limitations and, sure enough, they're yours. ~Richard Bach, Illusions
The process fascinated me. As soon as I let my thoughts wander over to an observation of my actions I’d lose focus. An image popped in my mind. The classic Warner Bros. cartoons where, in his eternal quest to snare the clever Roadrunner, Wile E. Coyote would race off the cliff, legs windmilling wildly. His nimble feet would carry him several feet into the air until a tiny pinprick of awareness would nip his consciousness and, with eyes widening in realization, he’d sneak a glance down.
Life requires a certain amount of faith. Perhaps it’s most obvious in performance mode (or while chasing an elusive Road Runner), yet it’s clear that this axiom serves throughout every aspect of our existence. I know that when I’m typing, if I stop to think about the process my speed will slow considerably. I’ll become self-conscious, wondering if my fingers really know what to do. I'll make mistakes and often begin an endless cycle of correction, which then leads to even more mistakes.
Once you become self-conscious, there is no end to it; once you start to doubt, there is no room for anything else. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960
The last sentence is really the crux of the matter. While most of us (whether deliberately or not) work towards a measure of self-awareness, we also must step away from being self-conscious. Meaning, we must learn to not second-guess each decision or micromanage every step of our life. Which isn’t always easy.
Faith is courage; it is creative while despair is always destructive. ~David S. Muzzey
What I realized during the course of the night is that even the most impossible task can be accomplished if you tune in just right. Not to say that one can bypass the effort required to move past the blocks, whether it be learning the chords, striving to understand the process of plotting, delving into the particulars of mixing hues on a palette, or even distinguishing between an intrusive weed and potential bud in your soon-to-be-blossoming creation.
"Faith is a passionate intuition." ~William Wordsworth
Yet one thing remains clear. It is that initial “tuning in” process that carries us through. Whatever you dream, whatever you yearn for, can be accomplished. For writers, we must close our critical "mind's eye" and open our hearts to trust in the process of creation. Trust that the characters will spring to life and the light of inspiration will reveal an amazing story just waiting to be shared. We all have to have to trust that we can and will Find Our Note. Let those fingers fly and encourage your soul to sing.
You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them. ~Michael Jordan
The best way to gain self-confidence is to do what you are afraid to do. ~Author Unknown
Wishing everyone a productive and inspired week!
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