JOY FOR JOY’S SAKE
(ON REMEMBERING WHO AND WHY WE ARE)
By John Skipp
Dear gang – No homework this time. It’s a holiday weekend, and the odds are fairly good that most of you won’t read this ‘til you drag your super-fine asses back to work on Monday, anyhow.
Not to mention the fact that I just spent the whole day in a swimming pool – with family and friends, no less – and upon returning home, my ambition level at this instant is not nearly as high as I am.
So I’m gonna wish you all a blissful, fun-packed couple o’ days, and hope you wind up havin’ ‘em!
As for writerly thoughts, they are largely at bay. Not so bad, now and then, to shut the voice off for a second. Take some time off from the endless spinning yammerfest within.
And just enjoy hanging out with other people for a while. P
referably ones that you actually enjoy hanging out with.
There’s something about people that you just plain like to be with: a sweet, sympathetic resonance, like notes on a sitar that thrum all by themselves when you hit the right strings, in the right way, and all your fingers are placed just where they ought to be.
In order to make it beautiful.
There are social harmonics that spell happiness. Relaxation and openness are the tonic and fifth, in musical terms. They lay down the root of the chord. Set the tone. Let you know what key you’re in.
Warmth and optimism announce themselves with the major third; introduce the minor third, and sorrow leaks out. A gorgeous note, the minor third; but if fun is what you’re after, it’s a grace note, not the thematic thrust.
Sorry about the music theory lecture.
Did I mention I was high?
Bottom line: IT IS GOOD TO FEEL GOOD. To pass that feeling on to others, while they hand it right back to you.
That is love, on the experiential level.
My soundtrack to today? Rockabilly and surf music. Simplest shit in the world. Ridiculously joyful three-chord jamborees performed by people JUST BARELY GOOD ENOUGH to rock those three chords hard as fuck. So that people would dance.
All major chords, by the way.
Sometimes it’s good just to just take the time to enjoy the life you’re living.
The rest of the shit – pain, loss, loneliness, heartbreak, disappointment, doom, and all the extenuating circumstances that all-too-often define the parameters of our lives – certainly have their place in the scheme of things. Minor chords. Dissonant notes. Powerful colors.
Enough to make you rage or weep.
But if you want to remember why you’re alive in the first place – and why BEING ALIVE IS GOOD – then it ain’t no crime to savor those simple human moments in which simply being together, and enjoying each other for the best of who we are, is pretty much the whole fucking point.
And maybe later, you can write that into your fiction.
Reminding us of why we love to be alive, too.
Horror writers, in particular, please take note.
Yer instructorly pal, and fellow pilgrim,