We walked out from the hotel to the beach, my parents, siblings, grandmother and I. Drenched in sun, the sand was a warm blanket – the bubbling sea beyond and a crisp blue sky above. Clad in a tiny bathing suit, a big, purple dragon floaty around my waist, I planted myself on this beach and took in my surroundings. Probably the smell of salt filled my nose, and the breeze fluttered my lashes, and the blowing sand grazed my ankles just above my jelly shoes. Probably.
But what is for damn certain (because no one will ever let this story die), is that I, in my three-year-old voice, cried out anxiously to all in earshot, “This is TOO NICE!!”
Apparently, I had a great talent for whining as a child, and my parents took this to be the ultimate complaint – that I was unhappy even with the niceness of the situation.
Not so, I say.
I can be fairly sure that I was extremely satisfied with my surroundings, and what I was trying to express was my inability to absorb all that beauty at once. And possibly I was fearful that so much gilded brilliance could only end in apocalypse.
I know this because here I am, 24 years later, feeling something achingly similar.
It seems my teenage angst never really wore off or wore down even, and, in fact, only festered and swelled as I waded through my early and mid-twenties (sans floaty this time). All that loneliness and bitterness and anger and regret and longing bore a body of music that speaks for itself. And then….
Well, suffice it to say, I’ve found my match where, I was starting to think, I had none.
I sleep beautifully. I live more. I eat well (a little too well, know what I’m sayin’?). I talk endlessly to someone who is listening and understanding.I listen and understand someone who talks to me endlessly. I read books I didn’t know existed. I feel smart, funny, gorgeous.
And I haven’t written a song in more than two months.
Moreover, I’m afraid to. I mean, have we learned nothing from the countless women of rock who spat and raged and simmered and fumed. Who then, for one reason or another, got happy and got, well…. adult contemporary?
Will this be the end?
While part of me worries over just this, the other tells me to have hope. After all, band mate L and her S.O. have a healthy relationship, cohabitate and parent his child together, but for some reason can only pen break-up songs when they write together. (Which is awesome, because my peachy non-writing self loves the new song she brought to practice last week) (Oh! And we did take the one with pool table (see below)).
But – just for the record, I would not be the first musician undone by happiness:
(Tongue firmly planted in cheek, mes amis)