So, I wrote about my writing crate.
I also dug out all of my songs last weekend.
I used to write a lot of songs; I'd say at least 25 a year if not more. My earliest extant songs are from about 1981, but decent songs only started showing up about four to five years later. College was the peak of my writing, and I wrote a few as late as my days in Japan. I don't think I have written a song of note (ba-dum-bum) in ten years.
Sunday I had a chance to play through them when both children were outside with the neighbors. (Otherwise any attempt to play guitar is sidetracked by wannabe students of guitar.) I had two thoughts. First, some of my songs are actually quite good! Secondly, they express an intensity that unnerved me.
When I started reading Kurcinka's book Raising Your Spirited Child it really surprised me to be remembering how intense I "used to be". Let me exegete that sentence a bit. First of all, I had to return the book to the library when I was only half way through, so I haven't finished it. Next, I was surprised to be remembering, because who "forgets" that they are intense? Me, apparently. Also, I realize that it really isn't accurate to say that I used to be intense. I still am very intense, but for the most part, I am more at peace and therefore my intensity flows in different channels than it used to.
Partly, though, I think I've sublimated much of my intensity. That's all well and good, to a point. If sublimating is to channel a power into a more socially acceptable mode, that's one thing. But if it means rejecting a facet of one's own person, that I think is not so good.
So it was strange to be singing these intense songs I wrote in my late teens or early 20s. I sang first and foremost about my relationship with God. My seeking after God was palpable. I couldn't help but think that while seeking after God is always good, much of what I yearned for painfully in my songs was, in fact, the Eucharist and the fullness of the Catholic Faith. Love.
Many of my songs were also about some shade of loneliness and my difficulty in talking to others, opening my mouth and sharing my heart. While I feel much of that has faded since meeting and marrying my husband (who swept me off my feet by ***talking*** to me!), in some ways I have to admit that the deepest part of my heart still struggles with speaking with open-heart, intense honesty. But it isn't so much that I have deep longings to sit down and tell someone about. Or that I feel alone in the world like I once did. One of the most painful struggles I feel is to be able to be in a room with women acquaintances and to be freely friendly and cordial without feeling awkward. It is funny how we grow and grow, and yet we stay the same.
I want, I need to spend some time coming to grips with what my intensity means right now in my life. The deacon at my pre-Catholic Fellowship used to say to me "don't be so intense". And in various ways, people communicate that to me still from time to time. And I sure don't like it. The last time it happened to me, on a list I belong to, it felt like a stinging slap in the face. I need to be intense. Researching fertility issues, for example -- I needed to be very intense. I think perhaps people are trying to protect me from myself, but it's like a fire that needs to completely consume its fuel.
I think part of my struggle is that intensity is a bit of a solitary thing. And I've felt like I "leave" people when I am in that mode. So, to be nice and good I need to stay with them and tone it down. But that just leaves me with frustration. Especially when intensity is to be a factor in a relationship: how do I handle that intensity without propelling myself away from the very person I'm trying to be close to? Many people get very freaked out by intensity and sort of run and hide. It can feel like rejection.
See, it's all very complicated, and I don't have it all worked out yet.
Is there anyone else out there who's really intense and has some insight?