I write quite a bit of sad songs, sad love songs in particular which is not news to anyone that knows my music. However I realized recently that I can’t write a reflectively sad song when I’m in the thick of it. I now see that I have to be somewhat emotionally detached from a subject in order to be able to write about it. I am beginning to understand that when I write (songs exclusively this hasn’t been the case with poetry or prose) I do so with “an outsiders perspective” be it literally or even when I am the subject, in the sense that enough time has passed for me to be able to approach the writing process objectively.
I had an inkling that this was the case in 2010 when I realized I had not written a song about a really bad breakup I had years earlier. In this case I hadn’t even written a poem about it. I recall a conversation with my mom about how I thought I could now see the full picture enough to actually write the song. When I finally wrote it, I had this feeling of satisfaction, like it was everything I had to say and it didn’t even make me tear up. A few months later however I was surprisingly able to write a song when my grandfather died, I cried on every line and blurred lots of ink but I completed it in time for his funeral. I didn’t realize it then and honestly I didn’t realize it until a few days ago, but I wrote the song not about how much I’d miss him nor about my feelings but from the perspective of my mother and grandmother. I know now the only reason I was able to write that song was because I did it from “an outsiders perspective”, though done in the moments of experiencing the loss myself. Continue reading “The Detachment Realization”