I didn’t do anything musically between the ages of 21 and 50, and I’m grateful that when I began playing my guitar again after almost thirty years, I could still remember most of the songs I wrote so long ago.
Sometimes, I imagine myself to be a song gardener.
I’ve been an artist all of my life. And working with music involves much of the same abilities I’ve used as a professional illustrator.
As teenager, I know I never imagined the things I can now do with music and art on my computer. Initially, I was overwhelmed by learning how to use a computer. But gradually I embraced the digital age and now I’m in awe of what a computer does for my creative life.
There’s a lot that I do as a song gardener, and most of it is not about composing new songs. I’m very busy growing and tending to the huge song garden I already have. Occasionally, I will write a new song when I’m very emotionally moved to do so. In 2014, I composed five new songs: “My Shining Star,” “Misunderstood,” “Take Me Away,” “Watching You Grow” and “Wonder Why.”
Perhaps I could be more dedicated to writing new material, but exploring older songs has a healing aspect, which allows me to understand more about myself.
In May of 2010, I met and began working with an arranger named George. Our first arrangements were usually created quickly in one session. George recorded me playing my guitar and then added instrumentation to the recording.
I’m still attached to many of those early songs, but now George and I collaborate to create arrangements over several sessions. The process we use is called “Midi” and it allows for many more options, such as the ability to easily change instruments, key and/or tempo.
As I redo some of those older songs, I’ve become more open to chord and lyric changes than I was in the past. As a result, many old songs that I thought were “throw-aways” have been transformed into something new and touching.
I’m a 55-year-old woman and it has been a long time since I last felt romantic love. I was squirming recently while singing the lyrics to one of my old love songs – especially when I mention a first kiss!
But I’m really excited to share a new arrangement for “It Might Have Been” that is absolutely gorgeous. The sweet music and melody remind me why I love being a passionate songwriter.
My song is a magic carpet that sweeps me off my feet and transports me to an ethereal place.
Technically, I am proud that I’ve expanded my ability as a guitarist by playing a lead line instead of fingerpicking like I usually do. I give the credit for that to George. I plan to share a story about this song with a vocal soon.
LINK TO PART 1 OF THIS STORY: I STILL REMEMBER – PART 1
HER SONG GARDEN
The Princess was a song gardener.
When she began to write and sing from her heart, she imagined that she was on a journey, going to fabulous new places. She especially dreamed about fame and fortune because she wanted her family to share in her excitement.
But it turned out her journey wasn’t about seeking those things.
When the Princess opened up her heart, she climbed out from a dark hole of emptiness that she had lived with for far too many years. Once she was in a place of light, she found clarity and decided to completely change her life. She found her courage because of the songs that magically appeared with lyrics to guide her.
Even though she had been lonely for years, it was still scary to leave behind the only life she had ever known as an adult.
From the time she was 21, she had shared most of her life with a former Prince who ended up becoming a Dragon to her. When she left him, their offspring all depended on her. After travelling down a fiery path of unbelievable change, the Princess prayed for healing.
She suffered greatly from pain in her eyes and it felt like her journey was over. Her pain would not allow her to move forward or even dream.
She found healing when she let go of looking for her journey’s destination.
Slowly, her dreams came alive again. She pictured herself languishing in beautiful golden valley, surrounded by song blossoms. The Princess lived a simple life and felt her strength returning.
She shared a tiny cottage with two of her children, but her noisy sons often disturbed her concentration. She loved all of her children deeply and never missed the enormous castle she once lived in even though she had more space to find solitude. The many years filled with stress and worries were behind her now.
When her sons were home, she was quiet and withdrawn. But whenever she was alone, she would dance and sing aloud with abandonment.
Her heart was open and loving as she spent her days cultivating an immense garden of songs.
She labored with so much passion that sometimes it left her exhausted. But the sweet melodies were magnificent and only reinforced her dedication. The Princess felt that her songs were sparkling jewels and she treasured every single one. In the past, she had doubted her self-worth and felt discouraged because she hadn’t made enough money to satisfy the Dragon.
Now the Princess felt rich because of her songs. Every new song bloomed more beautifully than the one before it.
She loved the words of “I still remember,” even though there were so many things about her past that were painful to remember.
It was because she knew that her feelings and memories were the seeds for her lovely garden.
When she fully allowed herself to fully view the exquisite landscape of blossoms that she had tended now for several years, she was in awe. She was certain there was nothing in the world more beautiful – she didn’t have to spend her life searching anymore.
All she did was travel within to find it.
© 2015 by Judy Unger http://www.myjourneysinsight.com. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Judy Unger with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.