Saturday, July 23, 2005

Mraz, Creativity & Heat

I pre-ordered Jason Mraz's new CD. [not yet in stores. nor is it in my mailbox.]  Luckily, with my order came a free download - three songs.  All three are on heavy rotation on my computer.  I don't know why but I keep waiting to be bored and disappointed.  Instead, I'm continually moved and inspired. 

open up your mind and see like me
open up your plans and damn you're free
look into your heart and you'll find love love love
listen to the music in the moment come and dance with me
a la one big family 
it's your god forsaken right to be loved loved loved loved
- jason mraz, lyrics

My crush on Mraz (or, my MrazSpaz-ness) is not like any other crush.  I finally found a way to describe it.  His voice, music, lyrics, antics, words, ideas, thoughts, expressions go right through me.  They pierce my heart.  My eyes water.  I started crying yesterday.  It's not that I want to be with him.  I want to know him - to learn from him.  He's a genius.  His music is timeless, ageless and brilliant.

Proof of his original creativity -- His off-the-cuff journal entries

I’ve been a lot busier since the temporary swing into the arm sling thanks to my near death skateboarding incident. Okay so the fall wasn’t the near death part, it’s that I would’ve died if anyone had actually seen the stumble since it was so small and ungraceful.

They read like some of his lyrics.  He's all about syllables, sounds, words, recreating language.  Everything runs together, flows and connects.

...which makes us sound like a kaleidoscope, if a kaleidoscope made noise. Kaleidoscope is a difficult word to spell. Even if you know how to spell it, it causes a stutter on the keypad when you’re trying to punch it out. It doesn’t have a U in it.

Do you know what does have a U in it? Mr. Curiosity. Of course it does. And only one at that. But the new records came in yesterday and as we were all noodling and gushing over Jon Marro’s art design, Dennis discovered the extra U in Curiousity on the back of the album. Too funny. I can’t believe we never noticed before it went to print.No one did. Even funnier is that the song mentions spell-check in the lyrics.

He's one reason I've been inspired in the last two (plus) years.

He's also the reason I haven't written a lick of lyrics in over two years.

Why?  How can I be so inspired and moved by someone's creativity yet feel so stuck and stifled by it?  Easy answer: I pale in comparison.  Not that I want to be him or write like him.  But when I play my music, I'm not as moved as I used to be.  There's a shift happening internally -- and my external creator just hasn't caught up yet.

So, no beating myself up.  Instead of writing new music, I'm fiddling with new ways to strum and hold the guitar.  I'm singing a cappella everywhere I go.  Tunes come to me but they're in the baby stages of development. 

I know me.  It'll take a spark of one moment -- I'll pick up the guitar and a full song or two or five will come out all at once.  Those are the only ones that really work.  Meaning, the ones that I love to play and that others love to hear.  The ones I TRY to write sound flat, contrived and unmotivated.

Mercury is in retrograde (started yesterday) till mid-August.  Not the time to start new projects or sign contracts or make big purchases.  But it IS the time to revisit unfinished projects, rework former ideas, pay debts, get current on things I've been putting off.  So, I've reopened a project from 1996.  And I'm a little excited about it.  If nothing else, it's good exercise, creatively.  If it goes back in the box then next month I'll be able to start a new project that started boiling this month.

Either way, it's all good.

With no air in this apartment, and the record-breaking high temps we're having, I've had to adjust to a new schedule.  Anything that involves movement cannot be done between noon and midnight.  It's hot like I cannot describe.  Stagnant heat.  From floor to ceiling.  Breath is short.  I go to the car for respite.  Great a/c there.

Hunny was sick this morning.  I need to find a way to keep her cool too.  I bought a bag of ice and made mini-ice-packs in ziploc bags.  I wrapped a towel around it, making for a nice cool "bed".  But she's not so sure about it.  She won't lay directly on the cool towel so I place the ice on one of her favorite sleeping spots.  When I remove it, the spot is much cooler and ready for her.  While she's snoozing on one cool spot, I place the ice packs on another spot, preparing for her next shift.

As for me?  Well, I took a cold, wet shirt from the washer and put it on.  My own little wet t-shirt contest.  It was dry within the hour.  Meanwhile, the clothes I put in the actual dryer took 90 minutes to dry.  Does that mean I'd be more comfortable in the dryer?  Sick.  It's sickening how hot it is.

Okay, back to my project.  I think I can get some of this done in the car.

*mraz photo ripped off and cropped from his site.


babyshark28 said...

I hear Jason a lot on radio, and I have read his journal.  I thought of it like you did.  his writing reads as poetry, intelligent poetry.   He amazes me in the way he seems so comfortable with words.

he makes me feel diminished as well.
but, then.....challenges.  it's all good.

great entry!  Enjoy the expansion to your creativity. :D
(I remember the heat in Anaheim. stifling!)

onestrangecat said...

i love listening to jason mraz.  i haven't checked out his journal yet but i will soon.
hope hunny is feeling better and able to stay cool.


luckyaugustgirl said...

I (Heart) Mraz. His lyrics touch the core of me also. That boy knows how to touch right down to the soul. Im really looking forward to his new album~ :) Now if he only came close enough for me to get concert tickets and see him live! Or to touch him.... or steal his shirt...... *drool*

Uggh about the heat. We are at 102 degrees today with dew points in the high 70s and 80s. The weatherman said it best when he said sweat wouldnt evaporate because of the humidity. Hope you and Hunny are staying cool.

Good luck with new projects. Hope you can find the creative flow to get things in the mix again. :) I love this time of the year.

hillareeday said...

Hubba! Hubba! That guy is hot!!!

kristeenaelise said...

I agree about the heat.  So hot its just gross.  So hot that watermelon sounds like a great idea for dinner.

I'm glad you don't sell yourself short - I think you're a brilliant lyricist and your music sucks not.  I've said that on more than one occasion.

Stay cool darlin' - we've got a ways to go before summer's over. (Now I want a pic of that wet t-shirt contest.  LOL!!)  

=) kris

monponsett said...

"Wash and Wear"