... yesterday, I drove up into the Cherokee National Forest, and had lunch by the Hiwassee River... played a little music, and had a few beers... the weather was crisp... but, not cold... Summer was still fighting its best to hang on... there were even times when the sunshine was actually a bit too warm, and we had to move our chairs into the shade... the campsite was perfect, too... surrounded by large wild cherry trees... and sycamores... the leaves of which had just started to turn a bright yellow from the cool evenings...

... when I arrived at camp, there was no one there... so, I just pulled up a chair, and started playing.... after about 15 minutes, Ken and Barbara appeared... they'd been out for an early afternoon stroll up one of the trails... and, it wasn't log before Ken dragged out his guitar, and began accompanying...

... sitting there under the shade of the sycamores playing... it was a real treat... but, neither Ken nor I are very good entertainers... enthusiastic, yes... polished, no... but, we love playing music regardless... about half an hour later, two cowboys show up at a campsite a few yards away... they pull out a guitar, and start harmonizing... well, musicians are social creatures... so, it didn't take long for them to wander over to our campfire, and introduce themselves... so, there we sat.. the four of us... and we played for 3 hours..

... what is it about a musician that makes them forego any of the normal day-to-day frivolities of "getting to know someone"... and, instead, just show up with their guitar, and say... "hey, I'm Mark... I saw you guys playing... mind if I join you?"... music just seems to bond people together... and, in my mind, it is one of the purest forms of creativity.. you, and an instrument... and, at the time, nothing else matters...

... when we had a lull in the playing, one of the cowboys asked if either of us had any material we had written... I spoke up, and said that I had written a tune, but had never put lyrics with it... and, that's when it happened... instantly, one of the cowboys grabbed a pencil and paper, and said.. "well, let's write some lyrics.. do you want a drinking song, a sad song, a love song... give me an idea, and I'll write it for you..." now, children... this totally took me by surprise.. hell, he hadn't even HEARD the tune...anyway, I told him I wanted a sad love song... then, I played the tune for him... the other cowboy began trying to learn my tune, and was playing along...

... and, here's the thing... within 10 minutes, they were playing and SINGING my song.. I couldn't believe it... it was incredible... it was a level of creativity that I had never seen before... me, I have never even tried to write lyrics to my tune... I just enjoyed playing it... and, sitting there beside the river, a tune that I've been working on for 8 years, suddenly was fleshed out... and had a new meaning...

... today, sitting here having my coffee... I was going over that scene in my mind... and, I thought to myself... do bloggers do that?... I sure don't.... do you look at your screen, and say... ok, today I am going to fisk the latest presidential debate... or, today I am going to tell a story from my past... and then, sit in your blogchair tying to think of something.... I mean, in other words, can you write on DEMAND... give me a topic, and I'll write a post... do you do that?.... I don't... I don't think I could...hell, I never know what I'm going to write until I sit down at the keyboard... still, yesterday was an eye-opener... I was shown a whole new level of creativity...

by Eric on October 03, 2004 | Bullshit (9) | SWG Stories
» Gut Rumbles links with: yes, I can
» Tammi's World links with: Finding What's Lost
Bullshit So Far

I certainly hope you'll record your song and post it for us. Congrats on that. It truly is one of the most satisfying things when something that had been a wisp in the back of your mind takes root and begins to grow. That's how I think of the music. Then when the flowers begin to bloom it's just a thing of beauty. That's when the words come. It's complete in a way you never dreamed of.

Long long time ago, I wrote music. Because I had to. It wouldn't leave me alone until I got it all out of my mind and shared it with others. It wasn't great, but it was mine. It was me. I don't do that so much anymore. I miss it. I'm glad you had that experience. For someone who loves music as much as you's a very good thing.

Bullshitted by Tammi on October 3, 2004 09:45 AM

Since a big part of my job is writing on demand (admittedly technical stuff, but I have to "spin" things quite often as well, so I think of it as creative writing...), I am forced to be creative on cue, and I do tend to plan a thread or theme that I weave throughout several posts that I write over a few days or weeks. Looks to me like people prefer what you do, though!!!

Bullshitted by Jack on October 3, 2004 09:53 AM

I'm with Tammi. I think I'd like to hear it. Does the song have a title? If not, you outght to start a "contest" for a "Sad Love Song" title. I'm sure we could come up with something...

Bullshitted by BryanH on October 3, 2004 10:41 AM

This whole process of blogging is cocreative for me -- like music is for you -- and yet solitary and somewhat isolated, and so paradoxical -- the fact that people read what I write makes me want to write -- but also, like you, I can't plan a post -- it pops into my head as soon as I wake up in the morning, and if it doesn't, I find myself not feeling quite right all day. I can find stuff to write about-- but there is a certain willingness that needs to take place, especially about the more personal stuff, like honoring the authenticity of the process ...I shoulder the critics out of the room and wait, poised over the keyboard like a piano --

What a great story you shared, thanks.


Bullshitted by justrose on October 3, 2004 10:59 AM

That sounds like an absolute blast!!!! I'm jealous. I'd love to hear the song!!!!

Bullshitted by Sheilah on October 3, 2004 11:59 AM

I think I coudl write on demand if it was real, as in if you picked a topic that was real to me. I could never write fiction. I can only write what I see, what I perceive.

But for me, I just have so much crap in my head every day, I've never had to do that. I have tons of stuff I've written, just sitting in a word document. Writing is too much of a catharsis for me and I am always surprised anyone ever wants to read me.

That said, I could never write music like you do. That is a true talent. I play numerous instruments, but could NEVER write music. And I could never write lyrics... I think it's too much like fiction.

Bullshitted by Boudicca on October 3, 2004 04:11 PM

I *can* blog on demand, and do it at least twice a week with Alliance assignments.

Mostly, though, it's whatever I'm fed by the old idea-lemur.

Bullshitted by Harvey on October 3, 2004 05:01 PM

Definitely sounds like my kind of afternoon.

Bullshitted by Jim - PRS on October 3, 2004 08:24 PM

Well, shit. I'll have to bring some lyrics with me. I have one I've been dying to get set to music. Kind of a Baghdad at Christmas kind of song. I had no idea you wrote music.

Bullshitted by Mamamontezz on October 4, 2004 07:37 AM