Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Resting into Inspiration

Today was about taking advantage of a day off and resting, even as I felt guilty about not going into work and wanting to work on things that matter to me. I've concluded, though, that I didn't really do the things that matter to me so much because I felt guilty about not going to work and addressing things that need to get done and addressing people that need or want attention. Sadly, I have this feeling that I'm the only who can give them the attention they want and/or need.

I'm sad. I could have very well just needed rest from something of an extended weekend, of which I had at least one alcoholic drink from Friday night to Monday night, strangely starting with a fair declining to one beer on Monday night. The Monday night one, though, felt obligatory. I was out at a club, and I was taking the next day off. I felt the need to commemorate a weekend the likes that I more than likely won't have again for an awhile, being an adult and all.

This weekend didn't provide anything to write songs about or anything to brag about. The wife's brother came into town from Friday night to Monday evening. The three of us mainly just chilled out in the apartment, played one strategy game, had brunch on Saturday, had some drinks, went out for French rustic food Sunday night with the brother's side of the family and hung out at the brother's brother-in-law's (it's a long story) local hang out. Lots of laughter, catching up and a fair amount of current events discussion and such, but nothing to make any type of exciting legend.

Last night had some bits of exciting events for me, though. I went out to the Double Door Nightclub to see Matthew Good play an acoustic set with Amanda Sena as the opener. Great show by them both, good music and good entertainment. If I didn't have to get to bed soon, I'd say more.

For now, though, I'll just go off about the inspiration that Matthew Good provides me. He did, and even if last night was the first time I ever saw him, gave me a metaphorical slap across the face with his passion. For the most part, it was just him and his acoustic guitar up there, and, on top of that, it was the first show he gave after dealing with a major bout of food poisoning and other types of dealing with terrible sickness (just read the tour entry dates on his blog. . .), but he showed an amazing amount of passion, even during the parts of his music that had sparse, slower instrumentation and bare amounts of singing. In those moments, even as I stood 5 or 6 rows back in the audience, I could sense his passion (or maybe it was his inclination to throw up) restrained yet expressed intensely at the same time, as he had his pick on an individual string, the guitar tucked close to him and his eyes closed, all ready to let out the intense energy being stored in his body and soul.

Then he let it out, and I'm getting too tired to come up with a good description of it. . .for some reason, the moments of restraint really felt like the moments I could feel the passion. It didn't feel typical of him. . .it felt a lot more quiet than I would have expected from Matthew Good. It felt angry, and, strange as it sounds, it felt mature and filled with more intensity, meaning and significance than if he just unleashed on his guitar, screamed into the mic and did all types of physical antics or made some kind of punk "fuck you" remarks or something rather than having silly, witty banter with the audience and cracking jokes that might have made sense to just people from Chicago or something. . .based on just his observances of the day while outside or something. I don't know.

Whatever I'm trying to describe, Matthew Good has reminded me of the passion that I feel I've forgotten. A month ago or so, a friend I haven't seen in awhile, not since a minor fall out a couple years, told me about the concert, so I gave Good's album, Beautiful Night some more spins on the CD player/iTunes than I have usually done in the last couple years. That album filled me with the passion that I haven't felt in years, especially not since I first got the album and not since I had read his crazy rantings on his old blog before the year 2000, after visiting Canada a few times and deciding to miss seeing Good's band play because it was a Sunday night, and I needed to get home for my temp gig the next day. Looking back now, I would have just taken that Monday off (like I took today off) to see the Matthew Good band. Unfortunately, I hadn't even heard the music before, so I had "practical" concerns on my mind. Then even worse, half a year later, after getting Beautiful Midnight, with tickets to see Matthew Good in Providence, RI, while living in the Boston area, a snow storm destroyed any chance of that happening. I guess a third try is the charm.

Listening to Beautiful Midnight over the last month or so gave me a good kickstart in the soul, reminding me of that passion I had in the past. I had been writing a chapter in my novel quite dispassionately, and Beautiful Midnight kicked my ass, filled me with passion and excited me like reading Good's old blog entries. It was really quite exciting. . ..

Last night, though, experiencing Good's sad and skeptical yet passionate guitar playing and song singing, I got in touch with that soul and spirit for artistic and creative expression, the one that just about originally got me into writing. . .not this centerless compulsion for writing without feeling that I've felt lately.

Tomorrow, my writing workshop will be critiquing a section that I wrote three or so years ago, and now, I feel a little self conscious about their response. Last time someone responded to something adult oriented (this section is), I got lashed out at angrily (but it's kind of understandable because it was somewhat rape-oriented and violent without any particular significance to the story, even if it had some significance to the setting. . .), which freaked me out of trying to write like that again until I read up a little on writing about sex and tried those tips with this section. As I wrote this section, though, even as I worked on making it more bearable for the audience, I still retained this passion and thinking of it now, I can still feel that passion.

I hadn't thought about the climactic scene in my novel or some scenes between now and then very much lately, but when I do, I generally have that feeling of passion and excitement that something significant and special occurs in those scenes. After seeing Matthew Good last night, sentiments of those scenes and images that I've always had for those scenes confronted me. I don't know how to say it otherwise. Now I'm back to feeling obligated to reach those scenes and reach them to experience that passion that I haven't felt while writing over the last couple months.

Thank you, Matthew Good, for reminding me of that passion and excitement that I haven't felt for awhile, thank you. Now it's up to me to remember it and write that passion and inspiration. It's intimidating, but I'll do it, I will do it.

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