Sounds, words, and language have always been part of my daily life as far back as I remember. I am staying open to how I will spend my remaining years.
Last Wednesday, my doctor told me I would live to 2029. That’s the year when I need to have my next colonoscopy. When she told me that, I said I hoped to live that long. She laughed and said I would. I laughed and said that it was reassuring when your doctor tells you are going to live a few more years.
So maybe I’ll do some writing after I finally retire. I don’t want to jinx it by talking about it too specifically. I told my therapist that yesterday. With music, I have found that talking about a project can sometimes short-circuit it and and slow of even stop progress.
David Foster Wallace was working on his last project(published posthumously as The Pale King). I think he would only refer to it as “something long.” When his agent asked him to a celebration of some sort of anniversary for his wonderful masterpiece, Infinite Jest, he demurred.
“You know I will if you ask me to, but don’t ask me to. I’m working on something long and have difficulty getting back to it after an interruption.”
So there is definitely a time when making something up is between oneself and one’s work.
But it’s pleasant to me right now to think about what I might put into prose.
I have many, many interesting memories that would probably make good prose. I have had a reasonably interesting life. Although it probably doesn’t matter I wonder if upon reading my rendering of incidents involving them if people who know me would be angry.
I have thought about only writing about people who I have known who are dead, starting of course with family (Mom, Dad, grandparents, uncle Richard) and so on.
I have thought about simply reminiscing. I have a great memory of falling in love with Bach’s music in the living room of my cousin in West Virginia. I was entranced with him and his imagination. He held up a record before putting it on the turntable. He explained that the music we would hear was something Bach had written for his students, the two and three part inventions.
Later my romance was confirmed when I read in The Glass Bead Game how near the end of his life the teacher of the Magister Ludi sat at a keyboard and played a Bach two part invention slowly with two fingers.
But this stuff only dimly reflects my deep love and passion for Bach and music.
Also, I know that I have the chops to make up stuff. I know what it’s like to start a story and not know where it’s going to go but simply listen to its unfolding.
This makes me think I probably want to write some fiction. Fiction that doesn’t refer directly to my life.
Wallace was a tennis enthusiast. Tennis works its way into Infinite Jest. Zadie Smith’s Caribbean Mom and middle class white Brit Dad make disguised and not so disguised appearances in her fiction.
And there’s the admonition to write what you know.
I have found it easy and fun to write poetry, songs, and compose other kinds of music. At this point I’m not thinking of writing more poems or songs. The songs that I wrote were largely but not all confessional. All were personal and subjective. Maybe now is the time for some other stuff.
I will probably dash off a poem or two until I die. However my poems and my songs probably do not hold much interest for listeners and readers for some reason.
My youngest daughter loves a story as do I.
But now is a time for me to open myself to the fun of doing something else. Last night after a stressful day of thinking about church music I felt my body relax unreasonably. What was this, I wondered? I think it might have been freedom pouring into me and reminding me that we all do whatever we want to do and I will start my own next chapter soon.