Monday, August 08, 2005

clean house, clean slate

now that i don't have a conventional job, i've rolled up my sleeves to unhinge my apartment -- i'm scouring everything, rearranging my bedroom, sorting through paperwork, throwing all kinds of things away. strangely, it feels good. my theory is that somehow, i'm emotionally attached to all of this stuff. the more i toss out, the more unencumbered i feel internally. i'm such a packrat! i came home in the wee hours of saturday morning and i thought, what is all this stuff? then i freaked out and threw away a huge stack of magazines. right now, some crackhead is probably sitting on the curb up the street, trying to sell my old BUST and Bitch magazines. i wish him luck.

i think i'll have finished up the house cleaning/arranging basics by the end of the week. there's a front closet that has to be wrestled into submission and i want more houseplants. philodendrons are the only kind of houseplants that i have, besides the two narcissus bulbs that live on my kitchen windowsill. i'm watering them dutifully every other week, in the hopes that they will wake up and bloom obediently in december. that's a long time to wait for a flower. but when they come alive in the dead of winter, it sets off an avalanche of memories and feelings and sensations that i can't quite describe. that something so beautiful and delicate can blossom when everything is so desolate is nothing short of a miracle. the fragrance reminds me of the honeysuckle that grows wild in gigantic bunches along the fence in my parents' front yard. in my mind's eye, that scent epitomizes the south. and since i can't grow honeysuckle in my apartment, narcissus will have to do.

until i have flowers, i have ideas. a hook will throw itself at my feet. some word or phrase will get stuck in me and i'll walk around for weeks on end until something happens to me and i stitch that phrase onto my situation and turn it into a song. in this way, songs are no longer songs, per se. they haven't been songs for quite some time. i'm not sure what they are anymore. stories, i guess. personal little stories, very simply told, in my own way. sometimes they happen to me. sometimes they don't. more and more, i'm able to put into song what i can't or won't put into words. it's a great way to sum it all up. get the last word, in a way. get some kind of revenge, even. it's a remarkable outlet.

jc wants to write songs for the next biggish band cd. craig wants to write songs in his studio upstate. there's talk of another black folk cd with blood because of the success of the first one. and i'm working on new songs for my next cd while the first one percolates. so there's plenty of room to grow and go in whatever direction the song takes me. i'm just writing and writing and writing and writing and writing. how could i be this productive if i had a job?

in the meantime, i think my upright piano is starting to like me.

4 comments:

piu piu said...

i don't have a job. havent had one for 5 months now, and been super productive in that time. wish i had more money tho...

queenesther said...

are you on the dole? how does working off the books work over there?

piu piu said...

ah HA! i am super sneaky. I AM on the doel (£56 per week as i am over 25) but i am also claiming housing benefit (£85 per week) and i dont happen to pay rent as my boyfriend owns the house i live in. i am looking for a job....but no way am i gonna waitress until i have to...the job i want is parttime and interesting. (it doesnt exist basically)

queenesther said...

EXCELLENT! there's your artist grant, right there! just stay productive and work out a cool idea or two. that's how most artists that i know get things done. it's nearly impossible to do when you're giving most of your time and energy to a day job.