My 3 things FAQ here.
1: Listening: “We Belong Together” by Rickie Lee Jones
Lie on your floor and crank this song real loud. That’s what I did. I lost my self and soul for a few minutes. Been years since I’d heard those iconic piano chords that open the song, and that incredible first line, "Say this was no game of chicken you were aiming your best friend. That you wear like a switchblade on a chain around your neck I think you picked this up in Mexico from your dad.” Quintessential Rickie — the mood, the strange lyrics, the drama. When the song finished, I got up, walked over to my guitar, picked it up, hit the re-play button on YouTube, and played along to this song, over and over.
2: Making: a loaf of bread from scratch
I play guitar; I dabble in playing the bass. I am a serious cook; I dabble in baking. This week, I became fixated on making a loaf of bread from scratch. From the ground up is how I roll, so I pulled out a copy of Laurel’s Kitchen Bread Book that my aunt Ellen gave me years ago and I made the basic whole wheat loaf. What an exercise in risk and faith! The instructions said, “when in doubt, keep kneading.” Good advice for life, methinks.
3. Thinking about: what it takes to write a song
Anytime I read about writers and writing (which is a lot), I think about songwriting. In an interesting article in the New York Times book review, Benjamin Moser had this to say about being a writer: “No young writer can know how rare inspiration is — or how, in its place, the real talent turns out to be sitting down, propelling oneself, day after day, through the self-doubt surrounding our nebulous enterprise, trying to believe, as when we began, that writing is important.”