I have a few.
It’s sometime before 5 am this morning and I just woke up from some pandemic stress dreams. In one I was working in my old shop and everything was pretty boring and fun and normal until I realized that 2021 was worse for Coronavirus infections and death than when I stopped working. I woke up immediately and just felt that.
Then, much later in the sleeping, I had a really lovely dream where I was at a party and somehow a girl I dated a long time ago for a fairly short time was in the car and then back at the house party with me. I watched her getting hit on and we talked. I didn’t want to run off with her, but I wanted peace. I don’t much like the idea of closure, I don’t think it ever shows up for anyone in a meaningful way. I like letting go: which I have. I was surprised to see her in a dream. I don’t think of her anymore except to sometimes see her on facebook and think that she looks great and seems to be a wonderful mom.
What I wanted in this dream and what I seem to want in life is to let go of guilt from a breakup or a relationship. I want to be able to see the person and enjoy what I did about them in the beginning and to get to know who they became without any of the land mines of having once tried to love. I want my history to fit into my current life in a way that makes sense and doesn’t bear anger or an unmanageable amount of ambiguity.
That’s probably unlikely, too, we seem to carry a lot of our pasts around with us in some unresolved and mostly unpleasant ways. At least I do.
I regret songs I have written. The song “Julia” comes to mind for me, because I was trying so hard to be so scathing and wise and it’s just petty and preachy in hindsight. I learned later, I think, how to write a break-up song, but this is so embarrassingly first-person accusative. You can write first-person redemptive if you try. I think I know how to, now.
It was Julia in the dream and she deserves better. She deserves her name changed or my own culpability named.
I think I thought as a 20 year old that you could carve a person wholesale out of whatever forge of feelings I had. None of that song has anything to do with her, it had everything to do with me – and I’m just now honest enough to say that. I feel embarrassed that I didn’t hate this song until this dream. I created a person in my head (in a dream last night) to heal the thing inside me where I held a person I had entirely made up inside the amber of a song.
It was how I knew how to heal, then. I know better, now.
I wrote a lot of bad songs. I wrote a lot where I was just wrong.
I’ve been struggling to write these days and to finish what I start. The next few things I post here you can skip if you don’t much care about KT as a songwriter, because I feel like I have some reckoning to do. Maybe I need to get all of these old, dead songs in to houses I can live with before I go build new ones