Of Friendships and Songwriter’s Block

Last year I joined an online community who, for the month of February, attempted to write and share 14 songs in 28 days. Hundreds of us. Wow, it was nuts. I was so stimulated and happy!

And because I had eaten the turkish delight in 2011, I was thrilled to create a February tradition. I signed up again.

It quickly became clear that … I have absolutely nothing to say.

(who doesn’t love savage chickens??)

I did write one song that has an interesting sort of chord progression and bridge, so that is – well – nice. But seriously, as an old proverb goes: there is nothing new under the sun. When you have written about good love, bad love, peace, death, justice, God, the earth, trains, coffee, your children, and of course your own childhood, what is left to be said?

Just to go on record, I do not write meaningless songs very well. They still come off all sweet and melancholy-ish. And there are enough “silly love songs” to last til we get sucked into that black hole they have been talking about in the news. (Click here for Paul McCartney live.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fqTDUiUdTtw

The only thing I have been pondering lately (besides the aforementioned topics) is about how little time I spend being vulnerable. It seems the older I get, the more walled off I can be from myself. So much for the evolution of consciousnes theory. Or growing into a wise, considerate old chrone. (For my not so pleasant experience with an old chrone, check this out. http://wp.me/p1p3zn-2q)

But then again, perhaps I have always been this way. Maybe it’s a good sign that I am aware that I am completely repressed and oblivious. That might be my optimism sneaking in, but it’s worth some thought.

The reason this is on my mind is because I spent a day with my closest friend from college.

(No, this isn’t us and Yes, we have consumed a considerable amount of coffee together.)

We have always connected so easily and we did so this time as well. I love this woman so much. But I left feeling like we never really got down to anything vulnerable and real. Not that we were all “gee, the weather is nice and my warts are getting better.” Not like that.

The hubub of life coupled with living a 6 hour plane ride apart can’t help. Several years ago I initiated time together with a few of my favorite people. None of us have much money, but I was beginning to be concerned that I would wake up after the kids were out of the house and realize I had exactly ZERO friends. None of these initiatives worked out. This isn’t a “wah wah mopey singer-songwriter thing,” it just didn’t work out for all sorts of valid reasons. But it takes two people to make a relationships last. (As if this isn’t something you already know.)

Relationships don’t maintain over the years without sacrifice. Financial. Emotional. Time. I just don’t know any short cut.

So, if you are reading this, and you are of a certain age, I want to encourage you to spend time with those you can really share your heart with. There are seasons to everything, but if we allow the winter to hang on, it may be too late for another spring. 

(I actually doubt that is ever too late – but, don’t wait to open your heart – it keeps you alive and living and it’s good for all involved. That’s my point.)

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2 Responses to Of Friendships and Songwriter’s Block

  1. Jette Shears says:

    did you mean to write “that is already too late”? anyway, this so resonated with me, especially the point about waking up and realizing I have ZERO friends. and the point about it taking two to get a relationship going. I know a bit about long-distance relationships having left some significant ones behind in Denmark and seeing some of them not survive.
    On a happier note, I’ll forward on the link to the Sausage or Savage Chickens (I misread them at first and thought it said Sausage….) to my daughter Helen, who dapples in writing and has to figure out the thesis for her main senior project at Puget Sound. She’ll certainly appreciate it.
    Love, as always, Jette

    • shannonbeck2 says:

      Thanks for the edit, Jette. And the good words. Bridging 2 cultures is no easy task, as you know far better than I. You have always seemed so “together”, knitting gorgeous sweaters during classes and on the boats and making homemade bread for everyone. It made me wish I was European. (Don’t we all?). But, trying to maintain cross-continental and cross-cultural relationships must have it’s own gifts and difficulties. Would that those we most want to stay connected to had the time, energy, initiative, life situation to do it also. On a lighter note, Sausage Chickens is a very funny image in my head now. Take good care!

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