Hmmm this may be a weird post. Weirder than usual. I don’t know what I’m going to say, yet I already made a title for it haha.
Wrote a little something on Instagram today…
“Thinking a lot about what we put into the world vs what we keep in our minds. Some things have been sacred to me all my life, unintentionally. Since putting out my album of childhood songs from actual childhood, i’ve had this strange feeling of lightness and moving forward. But it’s also heavy and sad in a way. That time in my life feels more real to me now and almost unintentionally, I have decided to continue the process. This month’s upcoming album was always supposed to be about trauma but I thought it would be songs written in the past few years. Instead I’ve decided to record/release an album of songs from high school through my early 20s, songs I never thought I’d release because of how painful they were for me . But they are good songs and maybe they can help someone. So stay tuned for some heavy trauma songs at the end of this month. Tho if I’m honest there’s a lightness about them too. Curious to see how I feel in August when I reintegrate all this too. Xo ❤️ps haven’t been writing, maybe 10 songs since the 365 challenge ended in Feb? Here’s something from today. Just a little ditty*. Bye!
#newmusic #oldmusic #lettinggo #movingon #integrating #healing#beingyourself #wereallgoingtodie #someday #giveitallaway #xo
Sooo I don’t know. That’s where my brain is. I realized I hadn’t checked in since right after the Childhood album, and a lot has changed and settled in my heart. It doesn’t feel so vulnerable anymore, this sharing. It just feels like work, like God’s work or life’s work or a calling or a weird mission like a missionary for the universe trying to comfort other misfit souls through my strange challenges and approach to life perhaps? I don’t know. I believe in capital G God but I don’t think that’s the point of my version of prayer (all songs are prayers, all yearning is prayer, all life is prayer to me…I can’t see all things or be all things, but if there is a creative force in the universe, it has a broader picture than I do and hopefully can see more what needs to be done than I can…so I try to just follow like the little peon I am…is that strange? I think being small makes you feel larger, where trying to be large makes you feel small…and who knows really why we exist at all! I mean we are specks of dust and ants and we are in an endless streaming supply, why not enjoy being alive while we can, if we’re all going to die?)
I’ve been reading Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders, the most genius kindhearted soul on the planet in my opinion, and I just can’t get over what perfection it is to experience someone’s clear life-work. He is someone who has clearly found his muse and voice and calling, and what a beautiful life of craft and listening and GIVING he is living. If you haven’t read the speech he gave at a commencement (‘Congratulations, by the way’), it is brilliant and I highly recommend it. Pema Chodron’s too (‘Fail, Fail Again, Fail Better’ I think it’s called)…hers is almost the opposite, if I remember right, but both are humble and kind and wise as heck. I could shrink down to a tiny seed and spend my life in books, if I weren’t too curious about what all this is, pouring through me… I think my decade of journalling to heal from trauma is about as peaceful as it gets for me. Purposely avoiding output, focusing inward, or if outward, then creating but rarely sharing. But now, so much in me feels healed – or on its way – and I feel foolish whenever I consider going back to my old snail’s pace. Like all this prolific-ness is easy for me, AND impossibly draining of course, but I guess I mean it’s easier for me to understand and structure when I have a plan of being constantly prolific or outputting…as opposed to that 3-year or 2-year cycle some musicians do, carefully crafted work, I think I’ve just never understood it. It makes the Final Product feel like a Big Deal to me* (borrowing the Capitalization to mock/challenge Importance concept from The Tao of Pooh…which should be called the tao of pooh, if it wants to understand itself…)
anyway, i am doing things my way and i am fine with it for me, and in no way do i think everyone should do things this way because i think it comes off a little crazy and weird at best, or just haphazard and sloppy and wasteful of talent at worst. i guess i also have been thinking of how lucky i’ve been, to be ignored during these healing years. that no one is writing scathing reviews of my work or not-enough-work. or no one is criticizing me openly. i am lucky. the only reviews i ever got in papers have been glowing (for “Were the World Mine”) – or super local and kind. I know this is abnormal, and I know the more I put out into the world, the more likely the “haters” will start speaking out and up…I mean, they are not “haters” that’s not who they are, they may want to help me, save my talent, save me from my sloppiness, I don’t know how haters work. I almost went into dramatic criticism for my critical eye, and dramatic lit degree (at the nudging of my professor), but I couldn’t stand the idea of spending a life tearing people down. Even if it was to help everyone be better. And I’m not good at being critical of myself either. I mean, I see the flaws but…I like em, or I don’t mind em, or I just don’t see the point in being hypercritical. Maybe that’s not true. I dunno. I like flowing, and listening, and following the muse. What is this blog post about anyway?!? I have no idea…
Well, as I said in the Insta post…I guess I’m embarking on my high school/college/early 20s songs now.
I’m terrified and exhilirated. Like standing in line at a roller coaster. Knowing these all fall in line, in the void, in a massive pile of work, makes each album feel a little less surrounded by pressure (my own)…which has helped it seem/be more fun. Who knows. Maybe they are all sub-par, even for what I could do. All I know is, they are starting to EXIST. And previously they DID NOT. So I have to love this challenge, these challenges, even if they’re bringing my sloppiest work into the world – I can blame it on time constraints or just accept my lack of interest in Perfection. I don’t know when I lost it, I WAS an A student. All thru college and scholarships, etc. Somewhere, some literature I read, some play I saw, some movie, some music…pointed out to me, all this stuff is Stuff. Not real. Not meaning anything in and of itself. If it moves you, great. If it’s nonsense, criticize me or look away. But I don’t see how spending a lifetime in silent refinement does anyone any good. It was certainly driving me crazy, a lifetime of not-doing but wishing-to-be-doing. Boring.
Okay, rambles out. xo Jessica
p.s. *note (disclaimer cuz I hate meanness due to differences): I think for some people, things being a built-up Big Deal is a good thing…for me, unless it’s fun and breezy, I get lost in self-importance and take everything Too Seriously, and I just can’t anymore. It isn’t fun, it makes no sense to me, and it weighs on my soul. So to each their own – I respect those who do epic polished projects, not that you need my approval – the world tends to love people like you (but I love you too). ❤ ❤ ❤