Hey! Last one of these! Then I guess I’m going to have to really get moving on starting some new novel-length fiction to release and write more blog posts. If anyone here has a question for me or something they’d like me to write about here, please contact me at the provided email address. I’ll be honest…the state of the world has me a bit fried, and I’m sort of low on ideas for this blog, but I feel like I need to make some regular postings here so folks don’t forget about me. I’ll take some help! 🙂
Now back to musical inspiration for Hard Science and Modern Art.
These last four featured songs are from artists I’ve brought up before regarding this book, and/or its prequel, The Transition Piece…Nina Simone, The Fray, Counting Crows, and Hozier. (I’ll try not to do spoilers, as usual, but I can’t make promises. Some of you readers might be unusually predictive like me…)
In previous musical inspiration posts about both of these books, I’ve talked about my characters individually for the most part. Today’s post is different. It’s sort of about the characters as individuals still, but it’s more about how, when two people enter a good relationship, their feelings sort of merge, to where, they are still individuals, but they can easily share feelings and perspectives, particularly about their relationship. I think the songs I’m featuring today express each person’s individual feelings about each other and their relationship, but the waters get a bit muddy, because these songs could be taken from their partner’s perspective just as easily.
First, there’s Nina Simone’s version of an ode to being patient and discriminating when choosing a romantic partner. This gets criticized, particularly in women, but kind of for everyone I think, who’s spent a significant amount of time single. And whoever you are, you can’t win. People seem to want to tear down your worth and tell you to settle. If you’re conventionally/universally attractive and successful, people say your self worth is too high and you refuse to give anyone a chance. And if you have ANY perceivable flaws, it’s that, ‘Who are YOU to turn somebody away? You better take what you can get…’ And either way…that’s dumb. There’s nothing wrong with waiting and being selective when choosing whose company you keep. It’s smart. And it leads to greater happiness later in my opinion. Particularly in romantic life, but not ONLY in romantic life. The friends and family relationships one chooses to foster or abandon also mean something, and I don’t find fault in a person determining how they wish to be treated by other people and sticking to those boundaries. I think that trait is often rewarded. Shondra and Jake were both rewarded for it. So even though this song is more of Shondra’s initial taste, it’s a song for both of them.
And, more Jake’s taste in music, but it could be easily seen as a song for both of these characters (at least it is for me) is The Fray’s Look After You. That song talks about patience within a relationship too, and the gratitude that comes with finding a permanent connection versus the temporary ones people are so accustomed to making. And it talks about reciprocation. Both partners in the song say they’ll look after (take care of) the other. That’s important too. Any good partnership, I think, is composed of partners who are equally invested in each other and equally willing to take care of each other. Men are allowed to want to be taken care of. That’s okay. And women are allowed to expect their caretaking energy to be matched. That’s okay too. I try to always write partnerships where there is evident mutual care and investment. That’s on purpose.
Since I talked about mutual music for Jake and Shondra, I’m going to talk about some for Deanna and Bobby too. Bobby and Deanna have mostly the same taste in music, so it’s easier to see how the same songs apply for each of them in their relationship I guess. When I think of Bobby thinking about the two of them together, I think about this Counting Crows song. I can almost hear him singing it to himself whenever he’s alone and thinking about Deanna, but she loves Counting Crows, and the song could just as easily apply to her. The serendipity of them meeting each other again. The upbeat music singing about confusion and radical change, which are definitely parts of love that can be viewed as fear-inducing, particularly when you aren’t used to feeling it. How love is something still kind of foreign to them, even after the lives they’ve lived and their previous (successful!) attempts at love and commitment. So when they experience untried feelings with each other, their first instinct is to troubleshoot them. I kind of chuckle a little myself at the opening lines every time I hear them. It’s basically her asking him, ‘What’s wrong with you?’ And he says, ‘I dunno. Maybe it’s…love? Maybe that’s it?’ It’s funny in a sad way. Or sad in a funny way. Either way, Bobby and Deanna’s lives have both been touched by tragedy, and damaged by early incomplete or missing love, but somehow, they are both happy on the other side of it thanks to whatever silly forces in the universe exist to draw people together.
And the last song (I know all of you are relieved…it’s the last one!) I’m referencing here is Hozier’s Sunlight. Jake introduced Deanna to Hozier’s music, but this song didn’t really hit her hard until Bobby came back into her life. That’s how she feels about Bobby. His love is sunlight. I mean…those lyrics… And I know I had such immediate love for Hozier because he seems able to write a happy, rejoicing…dirge. I don’t know why that seeming contradiction and duality calls to me every time, but it does. Words that exult with music that mourns, or vice versa. I’m a sucker for it, what can I say?
That’s a song for Deanna, as evidenced by her ‘light series’ of paintings inspired by Bobby, but the song could easily also be for Bobby. It’s about a soul who wants love, needs love, craves love, but recognizes the inherent pain in love. It’s about how, to a person who does without love for a while, love can be like walking into a sunrise from pitch black; how when you’re used to living in the dark, you can get comfortable in it, but then, if you’re shown that light, after the initial blindness, you remember, ‘Oh yeah. It’s warmer…brighter…easier to live in the light.’ That’s both of them. They brightened up each other’s darkness. Maybe that’s a corny cliche, but it’s true. J’s love indeed feels like sunlight to me. Sunlight really does fade darker colors. Love really does light shit up.
Alright, I promise I’m done with this for a while. I’ll get on writing something new as soon as I can…fiction and things here. Thanks for hanging in there with what feels to me like a writing lag. I’m glad you’re still here. 🙂