Music

What is it about music that just sparks something within? Why can just a snatch of melody turn into a full-blown karaoke moment at work? How can it speak to so many even without words? Where does the inspiration come from?

I’ve recently considered becoming a composer. Is that surprising? It was to me. I’ve always had a passion for music; it’s played a pretty major role in my life. From infancy onward, there’s always been some sort of music around me. My mother’s lullabies, music from today and generations past, being part of band and choir – you name it, I’ve probably dabbled in it at some point.

Except composing. I don’t know, it just never occurred to me before this year.  But I suppose I could do something with it, huh? In a way, I’m composing on a regular basis. I think the only reason I don’t is because the inspiration usually strikes when I’m at work or otherwise occupied. Kind of hard to create a musical masterpiece when the song comes when you’re too busy to put it down or record it – and disappears before you have the chance to.

Is there a serious career in composing? Could I live off of it? Or should it just be a hobby?

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Land of Nod

Sleep is a wonderful beautiful thing. You can go anywhere while you sleep, yet you never leave the comfort of your bed – or wherever it is you’ve happened to collapse for your jaunt into the Land of Nod. You might not always remember everything, but that’s just fine. Because along the way, you’ll see all sorts of odd and fantastical things. They range from skyscrapers the size of Jupiter to horses no bigger than your pinky nail to…well, a Jabberwock or a Minotaur. Places that were/are/will be and that never were or will be are ready to be explored and the riches – and terrors – are yours for the taking.

Well…at least if you can actually get to sleep. Which is something I’ve been having a hard time doing lately. I could be physically exhausted from, say, an hour and a half long walk to the Blairs Ferry Target but not fall asleep till around 3:30 in the morning – with a random return to wakefulness at 5 before dozing off again. And then miss the first 20 minutes of my shift for Dining Services because I never heard my 6:00 wake-up call.

Not exactly an auspicious start to my week, huh? Let’s hope it improves from here.

Inspiration

Ever been mindlessly working at a task – one you know you’d better get done now if you don’t want to get in trouble – and your brain decides it’s high time to throw a creative fastball straight at your face? Or were you just sitting there, staring off into space, when an entire musical score slammed its Happy Face sledgehammer into you? It’s just loads of fun, isn’t it?

A lot of ideas hit me at the most inopportune times. When I’m in class, for instance, or at work. I wrote an entire parody song for my Improv group during one of my classes today. Poems tend to crop up when I’m trying to take notes. Or worse, they nag at me when I’m trying to get a task done for my work-study job. I’ve even composed entire songs while slicing meat and cheese in the Blairs Ferry Target’s Deli.

But when I sit down to try and work on my novel or a role-play post – or any number of other creative activities – more often than not, the muse dances at the edges of my thoughts. Sure, I can entice it into the open with music or by looking at related images. But on the whole, it just laughs at me and goes on its merry way.

This wouldn’t be quite so frustrating if I could actually stop and take note of all the ideas and songs that I come up with. Most times, I can’t. No paper and pen to write them down, no instrument available to work out the exact notes and length thereof. But whenever I can? I think some of my best poems were written while just standing at the register in the cafeteria – when I’m half-asleep because I’m not a morning person at all.

Maybe I should drag myself out of bed at 6:50 AM every day so that by the time 8:30 rolls around, I can write some pretty fantastic pieces. Or I could just curl up under the covers a little more tightly and keep right on dreaming.

An Odd Obsession

I’ve got this very odd obsession. Well, I don’t think it’s odd, but most of the people I know do. When I sit and think about it, I completely understand why it might be odd to others. But I personally think it’s not. It’s simply a part of who I am.

I’m obsessed with gay men. They just…please me to no end. I love them. I think they’re fascinating and fun and just plain awesome. There’s absolutely no rhyme or reason to it. I just do. But I don’t just love gay men. I love just about everything about them. And I mean everything. Like I said, I find the whole thing fascinating. Whether it’s in real life or in a story, I’m attracted to it. It’s at the point where I’m a fairly avid reader of yaoi – known in Japan as boys’ love – and occasional bara – another Japanese term, for gay manga that’s targeted towards gay men as opposed to women interested in gay men. The term boys’ love is a bit of a misnomer, though – none of the male characters are actually boys. They’re all 18 and older. If they weren’t, it wouldn’t be yaoi; it would be called shotacon, which is just wrong if you ask me.

But I’ve wandered from my train of thought. I suppose the whole point of this was to give some background into something I’m interested in. And maybe explain why I’m interested. The background is easy. The why? Not so much. Sometimes, even I don’t know why I like yaoi. It’s not as if the relationships in yaoi are actually realistic – more of an idealized imagining of relationships between attractive, often effeminate, homosexual males. Occasionally, the story gets somewhat graphic but not so much that one would consider it pornographic. The vast majority of yaoi is about the relationship between the uke (literally “receiver” in Japanese) and seme (literally “attacker” in Japanese). In this instance, I’m into the story for character development. Why, specifically, do I seek out yaoi character development as opposed to another source? I’ve read many other novels that created astonishingly well-rounded and realistic characters – and some not so realistic – that I could turn to if I wanted. Yet I perpetually find myself drawn to yaoi. I read it, fanfictions of it, I watch it, I look at drawings of it. I like yaoi. There’s just a part of me that is inspired to a rather wild fervor over it. Which has developed into an interest in homosexual men in general. I love hanging out with them, talking to them, etc.

It’s become a long-standing joke between my friends and me that I’m actually a gay man trapped in a woman’s body. Whether anyone can seriously believe that, including myself, is up for debate. But I’m not gonna deny the possibility. I wouldn’t be the first person in the world who decided they were born the wrong gender. Of course, the other possibility is that my brain’s just wired very differently from most others.

This whole long post basically boils down to this: I like yaoi for yaoi. I like gay men for themselves. I’m not 100% sure of the whys and wherefores, but that’s okay by me. I see nothing wrong with my attraction to it and if you do, I’m afraid you’re going to have to a) get over it or b) stop associating with me. Because the only way my interest will ever change is if you were to brainwash me quite extensively. But that’s a moral quagmire for another post.