New Is The New New.

Roy Lichtenstein, THE MELODY HAUNTS MY REVERIE, 1965

Yeah, I’m haunted by familiarity, too. Sometimes my head gets so full of familiar things—most of which I have to remember—it seems like there isn’t any room for new things.

I’m already a creature of habit. I thrive on routines and schedules. I can honestly tell you that I wasn’t always like that, and did it work for me before like it does now. But in an interesting twist of development somewhere along the line, I found that routines and normalcy breed more creativity, and more effectively.

All that said, I’ve been stuck. As of late, new has come to visit and found the curtains drawn. Again, if I were less familiar with myself, I would think that I’ve hit some kind of creative block. But I know there really isn’t such a thing. I know the machines are just churning out algorithms, trying to find elegant solutions to the problems I’ve given them. So I’m very patient. But yeah, I hate waiting.

It’s fair to say that while I am, by occupation, obsessed with “new” songs, I also have a very high fence built around my house for “new” visitors. If you want in, you have to really get my attention. I have a houseful of guests up here already, and while I like them all very very much, they’ve eaten up most of the snacks in the kitchen. So it’s been absolutely fascinating to watch a new person come to grips with this powerful concept of “new.”

My daughter is so obsessed with this word, I would dare say that maybe only two other words get said more right now:

  • “You”—meaning herself. Try teaching pronouns to a 2-year-old, it is impossible. After all, we call her “you” all the time, why wouldn’t she think that refers to her always? You just have to wait it out.
  • “Self”—also meaning herself, but specific to situations where she wants to do something herself without any help. For example, when I try to get into her car seat and buckle her in, she yells, “SELF!” Then about 10 minutes later I have to pick her up and do it myself. She has the right spirit, it’s just that her head is way ahead of her body. Isn’t THAT true for all of us?

But “NEW!” tops the list for me. She is so obsessed with new things, that she’ll take one bite of a cracker, put it down, and say, “NEW!” She’ll be eating dinner, and two bites into a bowl of mac & cheese, she sees the leftovers in tupperware across the table, and all of a sudden, what’s in front of her is no longer appealing. Most of the time, this is hilarious. As with most parental-related hilarious things, though, it also makes you want to run in circles screaming and pulling your hair out. But only on the inside.

This last week, I’ve had a great injection of “new”—I have a bunch of new songs from my new artist to produce, I got a new acoustic guitar (thanks, Blake!), I have some new tuning keys coming for a new electric guitar (thanks again, Blake!), and I finally cracked one of my new songs this morning and I know which direction I’m going in again.



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