And out of the woodwork she crawls…sorry for the long stretch of silence there peeps. This last round has done a number on my frame of mind. Weirdly so as if well…you know those commercials for space saver bags? Those big, clear plastic bags you can stuff a closet full of clothes into then vacuum until they go flat as a pancake? Well, it felt like my brain was the bag and it sprung a leak and stuff was trying to bust out of it. I became obsessive with thoughts of my home town and the places I’ve lived and whether it was time to pull up anchor and find a new home or go back to Seattle. Then, I got all emotional over it and a song started making its way to the surface.
When I write it’s kind of like an OCD series of moments occur. I wake up with the song in my head…I’m driving along with it in my head…I’m in line at the grocer and I catch myself humming it…I’m in a conversation with someone when I realize I’ve drifted off and the song is playing itself out in my head…
I literally can’t break free of it until it’s been played out about 50 times in my head and on my own and then performed in front of others. Talk about pressure valve release effect. That’s exactly what’s it’s like (Thanks to Mar for putting it to just the right words). Once I’ve performed it a couple times then it starts to drift back into the back burner of my subconscious.
So, during this 10 day stay up in LA, house/dog sitting for a friend where I spent most of the time sitting around the house detoxing from chemo and feeding/petting two super sweet lab mixes is when this obsession hits me. It was brewing a few days back so I knew to pack the guitar (and the laptop follows me everywhere) and stuff it into lil blue before leaving Oside but, I had no idea how hard it was going to hit me. I guess with all the writing I’ve been doing on the whole cancer experience and potential end in sight I’ve been incredibly introspective so, it shouldn’t come to much of a surprise to me that this moment came to a head while I was here. All I had was my little Sony MP3 player with me, which I use to record the bits of songs as they emerge so I don’t forget any parts before they take full form. I bought it originally to record my guitar lessons with Russell (Moppet). He would teach me sooo much so fast that I’d forget nearly all of it before I even got home. That’s not on him, that’s on me. Even before the chemo brain there was the Ali brain which has info whirling around it at hundreds of miles per hour so quite often if I turn my head just so it goes flying out never to be heard from again (though sometimes a rare breeze will blow it back my way…sometimes months and even years later…).
I had the laptop permanently setup at the dining table with my usuals up and running (facebook, email, youtube, word, photoshop). Bit by bit the lyrics came…first was the first line…”Where I’m from, the skies are mostly gray…”, those came to me a couple weeks back when I was listening to friends back home go on, on facebook about the lousy winter weather while I’m posting another gorgeous sunset pic from my front porch (In part because I thought it would ease their cabin fever but, also in part because I am evil that way). Then came the chorus “No matter where I roam, I will always call it home” and then the sea lions came to mind and how hundreds of them would show up yearly for (as my mother would call it) their “stag party”. then, the house I grew up in (we moved in when I was 3) and then my friends back home were posting all these pics of snow (I begged them to) and it reminded me of being a little girl sleeping in the upstairs bedroom (now lovingly referred to as “the sewing room”) and thinking that if I could dream of it snowing, I’d wake up Christmas morning to a blanket of snow on the ground (even as a child I thought I was in some way super human). It maybe happened once out of a dozen tries but, that once was enough to feed the fancy, trust me.
All the memories of flights of mental fancy reminded me how my friends kept me from drifting too far off course from the real world and then I felt this strong urge to turn the tables…to wipe off the veneer of the sunny So-Cal life and remind them (and myself) of all the reasons they were in the better place. I reveled in the recent postings of my niece going on about how much she loves Seattle while thinking back to when she was a child and my sister had put her foot down to move the kids out of LA and back to the rugged (in comparison) northwest and family and Liza’s proclamation that they were “ruining her life” by tearing her from the world she knew and loved. I hated that they lived in LA and was worried the kids would grow up without any sense of character. I’m sure I was wrong but, still I’m glad they got to grow up in the surroundings I apparently love more than words can say.
Yeah, just writing the song wasn’t enough and I wasn’t patient enough to wait until the opportunity came to record. Only one day left of the Indiegogo.com campaign and nowhwere near the goal but, I’ve decided not to let that stop me. If the best sound I can afford to get of my music is from my little MP3 player then so be it. At least they’re recorded and not to be forgotten (by mainly me). I had the song down but, the obsession wasn’t lifting so I opened up photoshop and googled how to create a slide show with it and then proceeded to collect dozens of photos friends had posted on facebook of home and when I couldn’t find an image I wanted there I searched the internet until I found all the images that represented home for me (as well as the places I’d run away from to over the years) and 24 hours later this slide show/song came to be…my homage to home sweet (rainy) home…Seattle and its surrounding areas. Have a listen. Meanwhile I’ll be working on the next blog about another local musician while staving off my next obsession of reviving my old Jazz training and finding some willing musicians in the SD area to make a tribute to Etta and Ella and some of my other favorites, mentors and inspirations over the years. Some say that one is rooted in my love and longing for a cig…I won’t deny it’s possible but, let’s just focus on the musical part of the obsession for now and see where it leads us…
Til then, thanks as always for listening and for keeping me honest~