I always enjoy hearing or reading about someone “older” who is learning, creating, building or doing something new. I feel inspired by their actions. In this case folk-singer James Taylor (JT) is my muse. At 67, he is releasing his first album in 13 years that contains all new material. The interviewer asked JT, since it had been a long time since he had written new songs, was he concerned that he was “dried up?” I thought, “Really? You’re a journalist, and those are the best words you could find?”
I love JT’s answer. He acknowledged that he indeed wondered, going into the project, if the “lyrics part would be there.”
Pay attention to his answer….
“But given enough empty time, the songs showed up.”
Interviewer: “You just need to carve out enough time to make it happen?”
And more inspiration from JT: “Absolutely. That’s why I had to borrow a friends’ place for one week at a time to write these new songs. I needed to sequester myself. You know, I also think one of the troubling aspects of modern life is that attention has been shattered into smaller and smaller pieces. I grew up in the woods of North Carolina, and we had long stretches of uninterrupted – I suppose you call it ‘boring’ time. Time to make long thoughts. And be uninterrupted. But I see my kids today. They’ll be watching television and doing their homework at the same time, and someone will text them and they’ll be interrupted by a phone call. It’s smithereens now. And our music starts to be delivered that way too.”
When was your last empty time?
Do you desire / need long stretches of uninterrupted – “boring” time to make l o n g thoughts?
Would you be comfortable with boring time and long thoughts?
Could there be something in your life that is waiting to show up if you honored it with empty time?
These are important questions. Maybe think about them while YOU enjoy empty time.
JT’s new album Before This World is scheduled for release Tuesday 6/16/15.