SOBER CITY – Day 42

P114

So I passed the one month mark and am now in the cold grip of February winter in Toronto without the warming effects of sweet sweet alcohol. All is good though! No serious urge to quit the experiment or inflict harm on anyone just yet and the soda water seems to be doing the trick at bars. One of the things I’ve noticed recently is the connection I have with drinking and writing. It’s age old and kind of cliche but true none the less. Writing and music are both historically connected to drinking. There is no exception in my case as I’ve spent countless hours at bars across North America with a note book and a bottle of red wine. It’s the romance of the tortured artist writing words down on a tear stained page with one hand while the other hand is firmly wrapped around a glass of some sort of liquid inspiration. It’s a nice image and maybe it worked out a little for Charles Bukowski or Jim Morrison but there’s a danger in linking booze with inspiration and it’s not just the risk of ending up dead in a Paris bathtub. It’s an illusion of creativity and while it can definitely get the juices flowing, it can also slur those juices after a while.
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I bring all this up now because I’ve had a pretty bad case of writers block for the past year or so (maybe even longer) and any writer or musician knows how frustrating that can be. Then last week out of nowhere, I write (and more importantly finish) two new songs. This initially made me angry. Two new songs from scratch and not one line written in a bar with a glass of Shiraz?! What the hell Eddie Vedder? I thought that was your muse! I really wanted to believe all those nights alone in bars were necessary and productive (in some ways I’m sure they were). Obviously that’s ridiculous but it’s these little moments that need to be recognized. It’s all habitual kids! A bunch of false truths we make up in our wee little brains that we swear are real and faithfully abide by no matter how detrimental or crazy. It’s psychotic really. Then again humans are pretty crazy by nature I suppose. I guess it’s up to us to decide just how much crazy we’re willing to live with. Personally I think I’ll keep the majority of my wacky tied up in pretending to be other people for a living and melodically telling strangers stories with a guitar in bars. That’s plenty enough crazy for anyone. Cheers!

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