The first 4 lines of the poem were penned during a difficult period of my life. They expressed how I was feeling at the time.
I loved the metaphors in the lines and being a musician I thought there was scope to develop these in to a song.
Over the years I have scribbled down many song ideas. None of these have yet made it to completion …… an ongoing ambition 🙂
But no matter how I tried I couldn’t come up with the rest of the song. Everything I tried seemed cheesy & cliche. An all too common problem amongst aspiring creative people.
I tried fitting the existing words to chord sequences and melodies to see if that inspired something. Nope.
But more than anything else I had written down in the many years, something about these 4 lines kept pulling me back to them.
I came back to these 4 lines time and time again over the next 4 or 5 years. Still nothing. At times I thought, this scans more like a poem. But that’s not what I wanted! I wanted a song!
As a little side note to self, I have thought this about many of my ‘song’ scribblings.
So I frustratingly persevered with my ‘song’.
Then a number of things came together in quick succession, you could say conspired to make me change my mind.
I was watching a documentary about Joe Sawinul, a legendary keyboard player, best know for his work with ‘Weather Report’ a jazz fusion band.
I am paraphrasing here, but he said ” for something to be truly unique, it has to come from the heart” – that really hit home with me. I was like, wow, of course! Obvious, but easily overlooked.
He went on to say ” that if you want unique, you cannot copy or imitate someone else’s work”
That was the first thing.
The second was that I met a great guy by the name of Billy Isherwood. I was asking questions about him and we got chatting. He told me a bit of his life story and about a book he had written called ‘Dead Man Running’. He even gave me a signed copy!
It’s a great read by the way, check it out.
In it Billy had written some of his own poetry and it inspired me. I started to think about my ‘song’ that had a rhythm more like a poem.
The third, is that for a long time I have loved a song called ‘ Soulshine’ by a band called Gov’t Mule. Again, check this out, it’s an amazing song.
How It Happened
At this time I was also reviewing how I earned my living, which is another post in itself, but I was wanting to change direction slightly and so was giving it a lot of thought.
Anyhow, one sunny day I was driving my camper over the hills in the North Yorkshire Moors. The 4 lines came into my head again and I set off in ‘song mode’. Then something made me stop.
I remembered Billy’s poetry and Joe’s words and thought ….. well maybe it’s supposed to be a poem.
From that point on, the poem was all but written in my head within the next 15-20 minutes. I pulled over, parked up and jotted it down.
Admittedly, there was a little tweaking once I got home. But from years of toil, suddenly almost in a flash, there it was a completed poem.
Sometimes, you just need to be open to the flow.
Not pushing and forcing something, just relax and it will come.
Don’t push aside your instincts. Trust your gut feelings.
Don’t try to make things something they are not.
Create the right conditions, the right space, the right environment for things to happen.
In the space of 15-20 minutes, I had created a poem I was proud of and come up with a business name. All more or less without trying.
The conditions were right. I was driving my camper, on a sunny day, amongst beautiful scenery. I was happy and relaxed. I wasn’t intending to work on my ‘song’ , but my mental state was right and it just popped in to my thoughts.
It helped me to look at other areas in my life. What else was I trying to force? Where was I trying to make things fit my vision of how I wanted them to be, instead of going with the flow and just letting them be?
Just allowing things to be what they are can alleviate a great deal of stress and frustration in life. Sometimes when things don’t happen, it’s just not the right time for them.
But don’t give up on them, relax, take a step back and when the time is right it will all come together!