I listened to a podcast about accessing one’s creativity by none other than Jody Moore. Y’all are thinking that by now Jody ought to be paying me for mentioning her so often. I promise I am not getting paid. I represent only me when I say that you must listen to her. Which you can do for free, just like I do.
But since you probably won’t, I am going to do a cover on one of the ideas she shared. I don’t even remember which author she was quoting, but it was about stealing ideas. Ah, there it is. Google has indexed my brain for me again: Stealing Like an Artist by Austin Kleon. The argument he makes* is that great ideas come around and around because no one was paying attention the first time. If an idea speaks to you (and I love the way Elizabeth Gilbert discusses our relationship with ideas as if they are an invisible life form), go ahead and use the idea again. Maybe you will help it reach a new audience, one who wasn’t ready before, or who maybe didn’t even exist when the idea first came around.
This is why beards and French braids came back. And high-waisted jeans with those awful midriff sweaters. Ugh. Though the jeans that were so low they hit just above the pubic bone? I’m fine with those never coming back. I saw way too many bum cracks in the early 2000s.
So. I want to insert a David Gray song somewhere. Anywhere. I loved listening to the album White Ladder with my roommate back in 2001, and it finally occurred to me to start listening to it again in the last year. Lucky for me, I can stream the album on Amazon prime. It has become my “I love you and am helping you without judging you” soundtrack for when I clean up other people’s messes.
My former roommate, Jenny (she was one of at least 50 housemates I went through during my nine years of single life) introduced me to some of my now favorite artists. She enjoyed the melody and mood of the music while I analyzed the lyrics and pronounced the deeper meaning within them. Sometimes I ruined songs for her that way. Sorry, Jenny.
I went through a decent rebellious stage in music at age 12-13 wherein I listened to alternative rock. I had heard of Soft Cell. I knew well the DNA remix of “Tainted Love,” so I was pretty much an expert on the band.
Skip ahead 28 years and I just discovered that Say Hello, Wave Goodbye was first done by Soft Cell. Since I was too young to appreciate the sound of techno pop in the 1980s, my hello to the original is also my goodbye.
But, oh, you must listen to David Gray’s cover. This is not stealing. This is upcycling, re-purposing, lyrical salvation at its best.
Well, I have unwittingly done a bit of a cover with this blog.
So when I tell you that the Well-Rested Mother and Other Oxymoronic Ideas is a book that was published nine months before I christened this blog with its very original title, know that what I actually did was give life to an idea around the same time that that idea had been reaching out to other people like me. I gave it life in the most authentic way I knew how. I believe that like any “original” name you think you are bestowing upon your beloved child, my Well-Rested Mother will have to get her last initial added to her name or go by the diminutive of “Resty” in her little kindergarten class.
But no matter. We all listen to what speaks to us. I plan to read Brittney Smart’s book. Having a similar idea does not diminish one or the other. It just tells you the idea needs to reach more people than the idea could possibly reach with just one person. What a vivacious little life I helped realize. It bristles at the very thought of belonging to any one person.
*She discussed a third author, and I am not coming up with his name at the moment, so forgive any mis-attribution here.