This is my story both humble and true
Take it to pieces and mend it with glue.
- John Lennon
As a nocturnal, reflective, creatively driven, wannabe-musical-revolutionary, I’ve never been overcome by the sense that I fully fit in anywhere I’ve been or within any group to which I’ve “belonged.” So throughout my life, and in the past few years especially, I’ve found myself seeking out versions of myself – mostly attributes I hope I possess and some I begrudgingly accept that I do – in the words of the people I most admire. Which I suppose explains why I read so many damned biographies.
When I write my songs, they usually begin (rather illegibly) on a page in one of my basic, spiral bound notebooks. Spiral, because they stay open to the page you want without you having to physically hold down the pages or devise some sort of contraption out of the crap available on your desk to do the job for you – look ma, no hands! Yo ho, yo ho, a spiral life for me. I do, however, own a number of beautiful, hardcover notebooks. Most of these were given to me by friends and family, others were just so darned pretty I couldn’t not buy them. So I find myself searching for uses for these beautiful books that will never hold any of my own writings.
Anyone who owns an Apple computer is likely familiar with the application Sticky Notes. Basically, virtual Post-its. In the past year and a half, I have filled up my Sticky Notes with heaps of quotes I find meaningful/funny/whatever. And last week, while rereading a fave entitled Corn Flakes with John Lennon, I suddenly found myself short on visually available sticky-space. Eureka! One of my notebooks would be a place for all these quotes to permanently reside. A place where I could go when I needed to feel like I belonged. Not that I feel like I belong in the company of Bob Dylan, let’s be real, but a girl can dream.
From my happily employed notebook to you, here are a few of my most favoritest quotes:
“You see? You just write what you feel even if you don’t know where it will take you.” – John Lennon
“Being an intellectual creates a lot of questions and no answers. You can fill your life up with ideas and still go home lonely. All you really have that matters are feelings. That’s what music is to me.” – Janis Joplin
“Style is a product of your limitations.” – Emmylou Harris
“Creativity is delicate – more the result of someone’s emotional makeup than sheer craftsmanship.” – Robert Hilburn, in his aforementioned Corn Flakes with John Lennon
“Energy comes out of the outlets into our amplifiers, and then the energy comes out of us and it goes into the audience and they bounce it back at us and we just play catch, with some vibe.” – Kurt Cobain
“But if I see a great artist, I love ‘em. I just love ‘em, I go fanatical about them for a short period, and then I get over it. And if they wear green socks, I’m liable to wear green socks for a period, too.” – John Lennon
“For most artists, the world of imagination is more real than the world of the kitchen sink.” – From A Circle of Quiet, by Madeleine L’Engle, author of A Wrinkle in Time
“That’s what artists do. Experience life through listening and interacting with people and other artists and then reinterpreting it in their own peculiar way. That’s why they don’t have day jobs! Too much intellectual pillaging and looting!” – Angie Bowie, first wife of David
“When I got into rock ‘n’ roll, I didn’t even think I had any other option or alternative. It showed me where my future was, just like some people know they are going to be doctors or lawyers or shortstop for the New York Yankees.” – Bob Dylan
“To me, I always wrote about myself. Very few of the completely Lennon songs weren’t in the first person. I’m a first-person journalist. I find it hard, though I occasionally do it, to write about, you know, ‘Freddie went up the mountain and Freddie came back.’ And even that is really about you.” – John Lennon
And to effectively sum them all up, Bono:
“The artist’s journey is away from self-consciousness. That’s where you’ve got to have tenacity. Bruce certainly has that. Lennon had it. I had that. We are, in the end, if not pugilists, certainly scrappers, street fighters, and people who will not be bullied, including by our own ambitions. It’s like we’re locked into something and we will not let go if it. If your drug of choice is that song that’s never been heard before but feels like it’s always existed, then you’ll do anything to protect it.”
I will continue sharing quotes as my notebook continues to fill.