Something I Can't Express

>> Monday, March 22, 2010

In general, I'm pretty confident in my ability to express things with words.

I feel like I can paint a scene with words so that most of us can conjure an image, can evoke the brilliant depths of the jungle in shades of emerald and ruby and sapphire teaming with insect life, or oppressive heat and faded landscape of the desert, shimmering in the noonday sun.

I feel I can call to mind the tink tink of rain on a window pane when one is trying to sleep or the warm rumble of a cat's purr curled up against one's neck.

I feel I can capture the sharp scent of lemon or the itchy feel of bark against one's back.

I can, and have, evoked laughter and sorry, fear and loathing, tenderness and surprise.

I've brought voices to life in dialog that many have claimed to hear.

The one thing I can't seem to figure out when it comes to writing is music. Oh, I've tried (Windrider), but it's not the same. Music, I think, has to be experienced, not just because the range of emotions and music is so vast, but because it becomes personal to each one who hears it, who experiences it. The most I could give is what I experience and that's a far cry from the music itself.

I thought about this this past week as we watched the movie we bought my children, The Princess and the Frog. I'm by no means a connoisseur of jazz and cajun music, but I found it all compelling (more so since the speakers and singers were the same), from the clear and powerful voice of the main character, to the dark and mesmerizing song of the villain to the lullaby of the firefly, Ray, to his far-off love to the snappy music of the old voodoo woman. Charming.

I guess I'll know I'm really good when I can describe it and you'll be able to hear what I'm singin'.


  • Jeff King

    I think the best way is to relate it a personal experience, like you mentioned, let the read experience it in his/her own way. Then you will achieve what you want, without realizing you did it.

    Everyone has a personal experience with music, it’s like the smell of freshly mowed grass, or the cleanliness of the air after a spring shower... its something I recall myself and experience it differently than you, but I bet you had your own images racing through your head reading that, your own time and place and probably events.

    To me music is related to describing the other senses. Let the thought start on the page, then jump to the reads mind. If you can do that you did all you can do…

  • The Mother

    No one can "write" music. I simply avoid it.

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