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The Twenty-First Anniversary of Euphoria Morning

EMTwenty-one years ago today, the twenty-first of September, Chris Cornell’s first solo album Euphoria Morning came out.

Somehow, I sorta knew it even then, in the early days of getting to know the songs, that this album would change my life. It felt epic in a way that you think, at eighteen, albums might not feel epic anymore.

In many posts, especially in recent goals posts, I’ve talked about a book project I’m working on called Moonchild. It takes its name from a song of the same title, track 8, and takes place the year Euphoria Morning came out.

Euphoria Morning has had far-reaching impacts far beyond just that year, though that’s when everything was set in motion. So many things, and people, in my life wouldn’t be the same without EM.

I always thought I’d dedicate Moonchild, if and when I ever get it published, to Chris Cornell. I thought that for years, and since I started working on this book project in 2003, for most of those years I never imagined that he wouldn’t be alive anymore and that the dedication would be to a dead man.

I still think of Euphoria Morning as the album that had the most profound, and the most tangible, impact on my life. Today, on it’s anniversary, I will listen. It’s been different listening to Chris Cornell after his death. Sometimes that’s all I can think about and sometimes it’s like it never happened.

The original title was Euphoria Mourning, and I think that fits too.

And here’s “Moonchild” the song:

The whole album is worth a listen, in full, because as cliche as it is to say this about Chris, no one sings like him anymore.

If you had to only pick a couple to listen to, I’d personally pick, along with “Moonchild” of course, “Sweet Euphoria,” “When I’m Down,” “Follow My Way,” “Disappearing One,” “Steel Rain,” and you know what, just listen to the whole damn thing.

Oh, and you must, and I mean must, listen to “Sunshower” which isn’t on the album but did come out around the same time on the Great Expectations Soundtrack. And Seasons, which was much earlier, on the Singles Soundtrack.

Happy Euphoria Morning release anniversary day!

-April

Notes:

Creativity Goals Check-In September 20, 2020

notebooksGoals from Last Week – How Did it Go?

Writing

  • work on Moonchild (writing project) all seven days – did six.
  • work on blog at least five days – did four.
  • at least seven sessions of digitizing old writing – DONE.
  • craft and send an important tweet – didn’t even think about it, will have to put this back on for next week.

Music

  • seven guitar practice sessions – did six.
  • get up through song 98 of Book One of my Hal Leonard Guitar Method Complete Edition book – just one new song this week, it has melody, harmony and rhythm parts and it’s long so it’ll be plenty to keep me busy – DONE.
  • seven piano practice sessions – DONE.
  • Continuing on my quest to catch up on Technic and Composition sections previously skipped in Keyboard Musician for the Adult Beginner book, I will do the composing for Unit 2, Technic and Composing for Unit 3, and Technic for Unit 4 – DONE.

Lifestyle

Reflections on the Week

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The Artist’s Way Reflections – Week Three: Recovering a Sense of Power

MPjournal early fallIn today’s column, I’ll look at all of the essays, exercises and tasks of Week Three in The Artist’s Way, except for Synchronicity, a fairly long section, which will be the focus of next week’s post. That’s a whole beast of a topic to tackle.

In thinking about this week and all its topics, including Synchronicity, it strikes me that this one line in the Detective Work, an Exercise section could be the topic sentence for the whole chapter. It reads:

“Many blocked people are actually very powerful and creative personalities who have been made to feel guilty about their own strengths and gifts.”

She goes on to say that:

“Made to feel guilty for their talents, they often hide their own light under a bushel for fear of hurting others. Instead, they hurt themselves.”

To my mind, all the little essays in this chapter illuminate more about these lines, and get at how we lose our power through shamings and criticisms, how we give away our power by ignoring the messages from our difficult friend Anger, and how to start to take it back with detective work, synchronicity, and finally, growth.

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Creativity Goals Check-In September 13, 2020

window sept 13Goals from Last Week – How Did it Go?

Writing

  • work on Moonchild all seven days – only five
  • work on blog at least five days – DONE.
  • five digitizing sessions – DONE and then some; I did seven – nothing like the threat of wildfires to light a fire under your ass.

Music

  • seven guitar practice sessions – DONE and then some – I did ten to get caught up back on track from previous missed sessions.
  • get up through song 97 of Book One of my Hal Leonard Guitar Method Complete Edition book – the new songs focus on the A7 chord – DONE.
  • seven keyboard practice sessions – DONE.
  • Finish Unit 7 in my Keyboard Musician for the Adult Beginner book, and then go back and do the Technic and Composition part of Unit 1, and the Technic of Unit 2 – DONE.

Lifestyle

  • sleep without the phone (a struggle you can read about here) – this will put me at 175 nights (25 weeks) in a row – DONE, but it was really, really, really hard this week.
  • write Morning Pages every day – yeah no, I did three.
  • don’t pick up the phone until after Morning Pages – of the three pages I did MPs at all, I think I resisted picking up the phone till after on one of them, which was Monday, before the fires.
  • get up through at least page 210 in The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd (and I wouldn’t be surprised if I get further) – close, I got to page 198.
  • do an Artist Date – DONE. Once again, I took time out and watched a movie.

Reflections on the Week

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The Artist’s Way Reflections – Week Two: Recovering a Sense of Identity

brightcitrussunflowerThis chapter, like the name says, focuses on identity. It seems so simple, but I think a blurring of identity underlies a lot of creative blockage. It gets blurry because we get inundated with messages–family, friends, teachers, social media, TV at large–that tell us what we should want, who we should be. And there are parts of ourselves we give up for various reasons. It’s all too easy to get to a place where you’re going through life unsure of who you even are.

I definitely felt that in medical school; I saw myself going through the motions of doing all the things I was supposed to do, and all the things I had to do on top of that, and it all took so much time and energy that I felt like there was so little me left. I’ve also felt something similar in destructive relationships.

For whatever reason, it’s just so easy to lose yourself. At least, it is for me. So, I like this chapter and its tasks and how the focus on self-definition and sorting out the signal from the noise all around us.

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Creativity Goals Check-In September 6, 2020

goals8

Goals from Last Week – How Did it Go?

Writing

  • work on Moonchild all seven days – DONE.
  • work on blog at least five days – DONE.
  • journal about blog at least once – DONE.
  • five digitizing sessions – DONE.

Music

Lifestyle

  • sleep without the phone (a struggle you can read about here) – this will put me at 168 nights (24 weeks) in a row – DONE.
  • write Morning Pages every day – DONE.
  • don’t pick up the phone until after Morning Pages – I held off on picking up the phone until after MPs on four days, and definitely felt the MPs went smoother and faster on days I didn’t look at my phone first.
  • do an Artist Date – DONE. I took time out and watched a movie.

Reflections on the Week

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The Artist’s Way Reflections – Time Travel: Creative Monsters and Champions

task7Today’s column will cover the Time Travel tasks from Week One. Next week, we’ll move on to Week Two. You can find the full schedule for the rest of the year at the bottom of this post!

I decided to pull out the Time Travel tasks (Tasks 3-7, so most of them) from Week One in their own post for a couple of reasons. One was to be able to ease in, pacing-wise, by spreading Week One out over two weeks here.

Sometimes starting (or restarting) The Artist’s Way can feel a bit like thawing out something frozen, and there’s something painful and scary about that. It can be like melting something that solidified inside you. And it’s not easy.

To me, these Time Travel tasks feel like the first steps in that process. And they can be hard. Last time through, in March, I skipped most of them and only half-heartedly and incompletely did the ones I didn’t skip.

I thought they deserved extra attention in their own post as an acknowledgement that they’re hard, and a way of tackling them together.

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“You’re Not My Homeland Anymore”

Or “So I’m Leaving Out the Side Door” Part Two

Since this post is a sequel to that one, I’m posting the lyric video again.

In “exile” from folklore, Taylor Swift and Justin Vernon of Bon Iver are singing to and about an ex-lover. For me, the song has taken on a totally different, personal meaning.

It’s held steady as my favorite song on folklore (with many others way, way up there, at this moment the next closest has to be “the lakes”) because the whole concept of exile seems to fit my life right now. Even if it’s (semi) self-imposed.

For me the you of the song isn’t an ex, isn’t a lover, isn’t a person at all.

It’s medical school. It’s medical training as a whole. It’s the medical education industrial complex.

“So I’m leaving out the side door”

I’m leaving medical school.

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Tarot, Podcasts, Dreams and a Little Music

thestarIn last week’s Artist’s Way Reflections post, in the Shadow Artists section, I wrote about how looking at what I obsess and fangirl over is like looking at a compass showing me what secret yearnings lurk in my artist heart. In doing that looking, I wrote mostly about music and TV/film.

After writing the post, I thought, hmm maybe I need to add podcasting to that list because that’s probably the thing, pop culture wise, that I consume the most, although there are times when I trade out for audiobooks instead. I constantly listen to podcasts. While getting ready for the day or ready for bed, while doing any type of chore around the house whether it’s just washing one dish I need to use or doing a full-on cleaning, while working out, while in the shower or bath, while practicing guitar or keyboard, while cooking, while eating meals, while commuting when that was a thing, while falling asleep back in the day when I fell asleep with my phone. Podcasts in the morning, podcasts in the afternoon, podcasts in the evening. Podcasts all day long. I’m obsessed with so many of them, so shouldn’t that be a Shadow Artist art form too?

I dismissed the thought–the post was already long enough–and went about my day, and I’m sure, listened to more podcasts, which as you can see in my end-of-month Pop Culture Digest post, mostly meant listening to old Bachelor-related podcasts.

Then that night, I dreamt about starting a podcast. I don’t remember much. I hardly ever remember dreams anymore, and this snippet is maybe the only one I’ve remembered at all in the last month. I was going through a drawer of random electronics and cords and shit, and an unidentified friend or mentor (didn’t seem to be anyone I knew in real life), a dude, was telling me not to use a certain mic, and pointing out that I already had a better one, and to use that instead.

It’s not the first time I’ve dreamt of podcasting.

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My Pop Culture Digest – August 2020

folklore coverIt’s going to be light this month. It’s been a month of a lot of personal emotional turmoil and change, and somehow in that, I haven’t consumed as much pop culture as usual.

The only TV I watched was some Veronica Mars early this month with my good friend, and I haven’t watched any since he moved last week, and some Better Call Saul for recaps for the site.

I tried to watch the Bachelor GOAT episode for Ali’s season because it was one of my favorites (Kasey has to be one of the most memorable characters of all time on that show) but those GOAT episodes are just TOO LONG and I gave up and listened to podcasts about it instead.

Speaking of podcasts, oh podcasts, this month, I think due to sheer emotional exhaustion that’s been going on for months, I just couldn’t with much other than replaying old episodes of Bachelor-related podcasts from old seasons back in the day.

Most of my pop culture consumption this month was in the arenas of music and books. Some are repeats, and some are new.

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