"We're nearly at the end of the January challenge so now it's time for you to take a bit more choice. Look back over the challenges you've done and pick your favourite or one you weren't happy with before. Do it again. Start from scratch or develop what you've done so far, or maybe collaborate with someone. Just try it one more time."
I decided to revisit the Day 9 challenge, because on that day I was travelling and didn't have any music with me. But it really appealed; I meant to go back to it at another time, and here it is:
"Choose three songs that mean something to you. Play them and take time to listen to the lyrics, the melody, the tune. While they are playing, write. Don't think about what you're writing, just write. See what you come up with."
On the road again, always happy when I'm in the van with him and we're headed somewhere anywhere. It's summertime trips to festivals, to Glastonbury, or somewhere in Europe on a gig and I think I would be happy driving to the end of the world with you. And the song started as a joke sung as you started the engine because you were always working away and you hated the long drives and then I made a mix for you with it as the first track and now for me it's joy but I wonder how you feel about it. A song best sung together loudly. Cheers and affirmation. Willie Nelson, and then Willie Nelson again, singing a cover, a bit by accident because I don't listen to him all that often, though I went to see him at Glastonbury and he was great - old, and he sang a song about a bird flying away and I thought, he knows he could be that bird. But this song always made me think about someone else, I don't know why. It's being in love with someone who loves me but doesn't love me back, which is a huge distinction actually and one that resulted in a lot of tears and one particularly unfortunate visit. And then it's funny to look back on so much emotion from a distance and it's like looking through a thick piece of plastic - all the edges are blurred and indistinct and it's hard to believe that the emotion is mine, it feels so much like it was someone else doing all the feeling. But the song still makes me nostalgic and it's a secret pleasure because the band is kind of embarrassing. And then this song, this song, this song that I wish was my life, wish was my life philosophy, singing the rules I want to live by. Dissatisfaction, no not dissatisfaction, not the right word - restlessness, that's the right one. And no bad thing I guess though I've often worried it was. I read that Bowie obit the other day and that's what it said about him, didn't it - "creatively restless" his whole life. And that's no bad thing, I'd like to be creatively restless - I don't want to be satisfied with what I make because if I was I might as well stop and just take up gardening full time. Which I may well do at some point - tend a vegetable plot and decide that nothing else in the world matters except these ripening tomatoes. Hard to imagine ripening tomatoes on day like this, 90mph winds in some parts of the country and this morning I had to stand on my bicycle pedals on flat ground just to keep moving. It's a lack of fear of failure, this song, that's what it is, and what I like to think I aspire to, which is very different from actually aspiring to it. Or is it? Your own worst critic as always. The song has these moments that sound quiet to me, even though they're not - maybe it's the simplicity in the midst of musical lushness.