Lyrical Yoda

Two things have been rolling around in my brain this morning: Tom Waits and Yoda. Hear me out.  I’ve been introducing my children to the Star Wars movies so I’ve been constantly fielding questions about jedi, planets, the empire and general “what going on?” questions.  For the record though – I’m not a big Star Wars fan but I got it in my head that my kids (especially my boy) would love the stories and are ready to watch them.

Anyway, I’ve also had an interview with Tom Waits on my mind.  I’m not a huge Tom Waits fan (per se).  I know that I’ve heard several Tom Waits songs and I have a few on my iTunes but I don’t know all about him like I do Leonard Cohen or Raffi.

In a recent interview on “Q” (which apparently is becoming the traffic generator for my blog), Waits had a couple of lines that were sheer magic to hear.  He was speaking about the process of songwriting but I believe that his comments apply to any type of creative writing.

“Songwriting is a mix between tourettes and a boil”
“Songwriting is like letting the air out of a balloon slowly and hopefully artistically”
“Songwriting is just a collections of our misrecollections about life that we name after our mom”

This is gold!!!  He has the sage wisdom of a Jedi and off-kilter delivery of Yoda.

I love the tourettes/boil analogy.  The songs/lyrics are things that just erupt from your head and your skin.  You don’t have to cajole them or massage them…they just explode out with a violence and terror that is both intimidating and exciting.

I also resonated with the “misrecollections you name after your mom” quip.  As I’ve been processing some of my earlier creative writing from adolescence and early university I can see this coming to the forefront in a painfully obvious way.  I did not have the ability to craft something that wasn’t incredibly trapped in my own recreations of events and emotions.  I’m not saying that it’s bad but it’s not historically accurate…so to speak.

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