Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Earworms and my second favorite poem

You know what an earworm is, right? Earworms come in two types. The first and most common is the song earworm. That is when you get part of a song stuck in your brain and can't shake it. Song earworms have several characteristics. 
  • It's from a catchy tune. 
  • It's usually not one you are really like.
  • It's not one that you know all the lyrics.
  • It's frequently a children's song. 
Once after watching a television show, I had an earworm from a catchy, 1950's song. I only knew the first two lines. My dear hubby tried to cure me. He started singing the Disney children's classic, "It's a small world after all." I didn't think that was funny.

The second kind of earworm is when you remember the first lines of a poem that you once had to memorize. After I wrote about the drummer in my last post, that happened to me. Poem earworms don't go away until you look up the poem and read it again. So, since it is about creativity, I thought I'd share it with you.  

Harlem (Dream Deferred)

What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore—
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over—
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

A Drummer's Dream

Last week, I started leading another group through Julia Cameron's classic work on creativity, The Artist's Way. The fun and excitement was palatable. Everyone is at a different place in their creative journey but everyone is looking forward to learning and growing more confident as a creative person.

This is in stark contrast to a conversation that I had later in the week. A group of us were sitting around talking about music. A man I have known for years, a biker, started talking about his teenaged wish to be a drummer. His father and uncles played guitar but his desire was to play the drums. He was not allowed to follow his dream. His father insisted that he enlist in the military and so he joined the U.S. Air Force. He was in the Air Force for nine years before leaving and taking a job with the civil service. He is retired now. In all those years, he did not play drums. One could hear the pain and passion for the drums as he spoke. Speaking of his father, he said that their relationship tanked and they were estranged when his father passed away. You would think that after all these years, desiring to play drums would be water under the bridge, a youthful dream. You would think. NOT. For Christmas 2012, his Old Lady gave him a set of drums.

It is not easy for my friend to "get his chops" back as he describes it but he tries. He is realistic and recognizes that at this point in his life, he probably won't be asked to be on the big stage to drum for some famous rock group. I hope to hear him, though, as Joni Mitchell sang, "playing real good, for free." (Mitchell, 1970)