I recently went to a concert by British poet Michaela. It was really good, she is really good, but at one point I began to ask myself how is she doing this?
One song on her album, Fixing Barbie. is called 'Childhood Photographs' and it's about a suicidal friend of hers who blocks out the pain of losing her boyfriend by smoking illegal substances and cutting herself. D-E-P-R-E-S-S-I-N-G, I know but a beautiful song which is poignant in a nonchalant way (typical Michaela). Now I wonder for Michaela and for other artists, how can they bear to sing a song like that, which reminds them of a very painful time, or an ongoing problem? If I feel like crying when I hear it, how can she sing it at numerous concerts, make a video for it, practise it at rehearsals etc. etc.?
Blimey! These performer peeps are better than me at distancing themselves from personal pain or past emotions, I can still get very embarrassed thinking about that time I farted in a school disco and did not manage to cover it up, or angry at the thought of that 'friend' who slept with my boyfriend, I also still feel warm and fuzzy when I smell that boyfriend's 212 because these things happened to me and though I may not think about them all the time, they remain very real to me years after.
I don't know if I'm over-emotional, or if I'm clinging to anything I 've managed to remember as my post-baby memory deteriorates, but I take my hat off to those who can feel things deep enough to turn them into beautiful poems/songs, but disengage enough to sing/recite without becoming a wobbling mound of tears!
Boy, I know I was crying at that concert, and maybe somewhere deep, Michaela was too.