Music is one of those colorful things in life that don’t serve any great purpose in our mammalian survival instincts. The pings, twangs, booms, strums, screams and swishes of a great song do something to us on another level that make them important to us.

For all the advances in technology and all the theorizing of time travel through the ages -music is still the best time machine there is. You know what I mean.

The #1 most important song in my life is (sometimes sadly) the one that is stuck in my head right now.

That song happens to be Witchy Woman by the Eagles. By the time I am done writing this sentence the most important song is Redfoo’s Ridiculous. You see people don’t actually think about songs they way they sit and think about an important decision. Lyrics and beats (at least for me) are floating around in my head like a swirl of unstable particles just waiting for that catalyst forcing a mini big bang in my brain. Every once in a while the stereo in my head decides to play a track based on my mood or something I’ve seen, smelled, touched or just experienced. Even a simple memory can illicit a new track to push play. DJ Brain knows what it wants me to hear so that is why his current pick is the most important.

The #2 most important song in my life is Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin.

I’m not a super happy person. On the whole I’m quite depressed, much too reflective and have anxiety about everything. But I’m still here and I’ve remained here by using my brain when it wasn’t in these nasty states to help myself navigate my existence when things get rough upstairs. One such exercise was to think of activities that made me happy. I mean those instant mood changers that have the power to bring you back from diving head first into a depressed episode.

In the end I made a list of what my simple pleasures in life were at the time. These were small activities that I could do quickly to avoid a few days of self loathing.

My list of happiness magic bullets looked something like this:

  1. Listen to Stairway to Heaven.

  2. Look out the window on a nice day and take note of everything you can see.

  3. Cook a meal with fresh ingredients.

  4. Other things…

The list went on to about eight or so items but the importance of Stairway to Heaven to me is not going to be the same as it is for you or anyone else. My songs and YOUR songs are unique to us in how we are attached to them. Stairway to Heaven is a song that makes me feel adventurous, curious, excited for the future, happy to be where I am, proud to live in the time I live in and eager for what comes next. I feel these things because they are all tied to a specific emotional experience I’ve had. No other song has so many hooks in my mind so that is why it is the most important. This is of course behind the song currently playing which is now-Cage the Elephant – Ain’t no rest for the wicked.

The #3 most important song in my life is Neil Young’s Heart of Gold

This is a flex spot in the song list much like #1 but I feel pretty good about saying Heart of Gold is important. It is a song that I have played on the guitar alone in a room many times and I just like it. I don’t really need much more reason than that do I?

Writing Commitments

A small footnote here to round out the prompt for today.

Making a commitment to writing for X amount of time per day does not work for me. Committing to SOMETHING quantifiable works much better. Blogging for 20 days in a row and pushing the publish button is more motivating than forcing myself to sit and write about nothing for 15 minutes.

What are you supposed to take away from forcing yourself to write for 15 minutes anyway? You are already there against your will and now you are praying it motivates you to want to keep doing this when you have a good idea? Crazy.

April 8th, 2015

Posted In: Personal, The Craft of Writing, writing101