So, over the Easter weekend, I visited home to spend time with my family. I live two hours away and often feel disconnected from not seeing them as frequently as I like. On Sunday, after service, I sat down and chatted with my cousin over stuffed bellies from having just finished dinner. Out of nowhere, Pharrell Williams’ song, “Happy”, was brought up. I shared with my cousin how, although I don’t dislike the song, I certainly am not crazy about it as everyone else. I don’t dislike it by no means; in fact, I think the world can use a song with the uplifting message of celebrating happiness.
So, my cousin disagrees right away. Now, I should have prefaced this by sharing that my cousin, who was more like a sister growing up (there are about five of us who grew up together like sisters), is in the music industry. Moreover, she’s a three-time Grammy winning producer, whose biggest hit was probably Jay Z’s “Empire State of Mind” ft. Alicia Keys. Yes…I LOVE bragging about that accomplishment. And NO, I don’t really know Jay Z. I’ve never met the man.
Now, back to my story (LOL!)… Jane’t disagrees, saying I must listen to the lyrics of the song in order to appreciate the essence of it. She then goes to recite a few…
“Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof… Clap along if you know what happiness is to you…”
She goes on to say, Pharrell had to have been in a space to convey that spirit of happiness on this track. He must have been in a place of his life where he lived this happiness to be able to perfectly articulate it. That resonated with me right away. She and I often talk about the process of creativity and where you have to be for the magic to happen—even before I was knee-deep in writing L.I.P. We often laugh about being people who are so unlike our individual selves. You guys know several of the people I’ve had to be to write L.I.P. She’s shared having to love diamonds, and luxury cars, and strippers, and champagne…to write for others.
Her comment about Pharrell got me to thinking about Love UnCharted when Rayna left Azmir and stumbled upon Blu Cantrell’s “I’ll Find Away”. I was able to get into Rayna’s feelings because I was in that space before. I know what it’s like to try to convince yourself to move on. I understand the fortitude it takes to say, “Yeah, he played me, but…”. I know how powerful it is to speak life into myself and lick my wounds in private while hanging my head high in public. Now, while some believe Rayna was being melodramatic, it doesn’t matter. What mattered was that Rayna felt she had to protect herself from going under in the bitterness of betrayal. That’s how she saw it and that’s what she made her goal.
Anywho…my point is, as I’m reading reviews about how readers were/are able to feel the emotions of the characters in L.I.P., I know it truly is because while developing them, I was either in a space or had been in one at some point to be able to transfer it into these characters when needed. I understand the highs and lows of emotions. I understand letting go and allowing your heart to take over, even when it isn’t appropriate.
Each time I take on a new book to read, I want to feel everything that character is experiencing. I want to be in that same space they’re living in that moment. So far, it seems I was able to connect with a few people in that space. I hope to continue to. I’ve not perfected it yet, I still have room to grow. Nonetheless, it’s still great to know I’ve accomplished it with just a few.
Welp! That’s my rant for today.