I began writing music at 12 or 13 years old, and although I sometimes go months without writing anything new, it’s one of the greatest pleasures when a new musical motif bubbles up from my subconscious, demanding to be expressed.
At that point, it’s like giving birth: joyful, painful, and intense.
Sometimes songs I wrote years and years ago still play through my head, even if I haven’t done anything with them for years. One in particular has played through my head recently, a song I called “Two Weeks.”
It’s a melancholy, haunting little melody set to a minor key piano compliment. The verses are eloquent and bursting with words. The chorus lyrics, on the other hand, are minimal, and go like this:
“Give it two weeks / You never know what you may find.”
It repeats those two lines once, and that’s it.
At the time, I believe I was pondering whether to stay with a girl I was dating – a relationship that ended years ago, obviously.
The reason I’m writing about it today is that it speaks to a principle I’ve seen play out in my life over and over. It is this: no matter what the focus of my attention is, no matter how much I obsess about it, nothing can hold my attention indefinitely.
I’ve discovered that for me, the cycle is usually more like three to five days. Obsessing about money? Clinging to thoughts of an ex-girlfriend? Give it up to five days, and I may not have stopped worrying generally, but my attention will have turned to something else.
Sometimes things will swing back around to be obsessed about again, but at least it preserves some sanity by giving me variety.
This is a way of reminding ourselves that nothing lasts, and that includes the problems we face or believe we face.
If you allow up to five days for something to change, it usually will, whether it’s in “reality” or just your perception — and if you understand my words at all, you know those two are largely the same thing.