Having done this, while drinking my usual dose of strong coffee to wipe away the lingering slumber of night and sleep, a decision as to what to do next entered my thoughts. The possibilities are truly endless, yet I am rather set in habitual patterns, where mornings and plans come together. Because I seldom plan what I’ll do with days, the habits come into play quite often. This day followed that course for a short time after completing the news review. I then turned toward listening to the prerecorded music of others, of my own choosing. It is seldom that I allow the choices of others (radio etc.) to determine what I’ll allow to fill my space, as I prefer making my own choices as to what may influence my day, because sometimes doing so will alter its mood. For me, music can sometimes strongly influence and temper how my day evolves.
The previous evening I had chosen a course, deciding to learn another song, written and performed originally by Bob Dylan, "Just Like a Woman." I had been inspired by viewing the dvd, "A Concert for Bangladesh," where as, having seen Bob’s rendition with the group on hand for that occasion, I paused the player, to learn the song for myself. In doing so that evening, I had called up the song from his album "Blond on Blond," to my media player in order to review its original form and to study its structure. Unknowingly, this sequence of events set up the circumstances that allowed this new song’s creation the following morning.
Thus after completing the news review that morning, I opened my preferred media player, Amarok. It had in its memory the single song " Just Like a Woman" retained in its playlist from that previous nights application. Seeing this, the thought to again fill the room with the presence of Bob’s recordings, yet wishing to add to the play list, I called up a new songlist of Dylan recordings, including the album "Modern Times." The media player went through many songs while I prepared and ate a breakfast, when I again found myself sitting here listening, the track "Thunder on the Mountain," was playing when, near the end of said track, a trigger in thought occurred. In an instant, this caused me to shut down the music, to open a word processor and I let words begin forming in my head, typing them into the computer.
I began writing out the words that came to mind. In those moments, I followed the slate of inspiration. It lacked any preconceived idea as to what might form. The only thing I understood in those moments, were that those words "thunder on the mountain," separate, standing alone, hold a somewhat iconic theme for me. It is sourced in my own life’s experience. I have experienced lightening and its thunder on mountains well above timberline. At that time being there in that situation provided a potent experience that conjured up survival instinct, leaving an altered sense of awe in its wake. Even so I lacked a desire to express that situation in any way. Also, in thought was my desire to remain fully separated from either the words or expression I’d just heard in Bob’s song. I wrote out lines, a full verse worth of them, then paused to review and alter them. At present, memory has little recall as to the content of those lines. I knew that I wanted to shape an idea that could express a personal core value in regard to our shared environment, that which we all in some way share commonly, this earth and foremost, the alarming trends that I notice.
Upon editing those first few lines, a shape and direction began to jell. I have heard thunder and have noted in its presence what could be termed as anger or in this instance, rage. It could be that the human response to the immediacy of lightening and its associated thunder, is what caused ancient humans to consider the existence of there being something much more powerful than they. Knowing nothing of the physical forces displayed during these weather events, I suppose the alarm of being in its presence was the cause for what is now known as a God. However; this is not my point, nor is the content of what came there after in my writing. The first line evolved then, into, "I’ve heard that the thunder, has to loose its rage." In this case the word rage might be a reflection on my own reaction to being in its presence in high elevation places, where the threat of lightening’s force, I personally recognized as, immense. With this alteration and some others in those initial lines of verse, a direction for the song took hold. Even so, I was without any clear intension as to the sought destination of their collective expression. The first line here (although unknown at the time) is used only as texture for what was to be this vignette of words, that in the moment of conception possessed no music or even a hint there in.
Now for certain, there is no deliberate "other person," in the words of this lyric. It is my understanding of the importance of interpersonal relationships, which brings another person into the story. I believe doing so provides a place that others may be drawn into, as we humans instinctively associate ourselves as being, a part of the whole. And with this comes an understanding of our own mortality, a condition that in my own aging, tends to hold a distinct significance. We will all eventually pass from what we know as living, and go on to what ever comes there after, something or nothing. Since I neither know the answer to that unstated question, or possess desire to instill it into this song, I have simply referenced it via the imagery in, we may "feel age."
From this point in the process, a contextual situation is created by the introduction of a commonly understood yet hypothetical location, that being, in the mountains. Now observations from the observer’s view begin to form, bringing the thunder back into play as a shared experience. The effect of our relationships in and on this planet are employed here through the use of imagery. I brought birds and the season of spring in at this point because both have the potential to be an influence and be influenced, in our lives.
A separate set of ideas is then introduced as a chorus. It acknowledges some the most basic things that make up our lives and the conditions which shape them, water, sun, the revolutions of our earth and time.
The song’s last two verses attempt to clearly bring the seasonal cycles in living here into play. Summers end, birds migrate, fall comes and the seasons change throughout our lives. Hopefully we can all find inspiration in living. For myself and so many others, singing is both a producer of happiness and of hope. Doing it by a campfire is even better!