I can’t get this song out of my head! It has taken up permanent residence in my mind along with “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” from Encanto, but that is an entirely different post. This song could be describing any number of situations, but for me, it’s about creativity. It’s about finding the quiet space between dreams and reality, where your Muse stands waiting to be acknowledged. This is one of the rare albums that I can play straight through and hum/sing to all the songs. It’s been a while since I listened to Norah’s smoky voice, and the opportunity to attend one of her upcoming concerts had me pulling out my old CD to give it a listen. It didn’t take me long to reconnect with this song I fell in love with so long ago, and I had some surprising thoughts come to me.
I was first introduced to Norah’s intoxicating voice in “Two Week’s Notice” a RomCom with Sandra Bullock and Hugh Grant. If you haven’t seen it, and like the enemies to lovers trope (among a few others), you may want to check it out. The scene I fell in love with Norah Jones is here, although the song she sings is another on this album, “The Nearness of You,” which is also an amazing song! For a real treat, head here to listen to the version by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong. There is a lot to love about this movie, the soundtrack only being a small part, but then again, what is not to love about Sandra Bullock? That is another topic we need to come back to 🙂
While all of the songs on this album are amazing, the song “One Flight Down” is the one I connect with the most. As I listened with new ears, it had me thinking about the process of writing and the headspace you need to be in. It’s hard to be creative on demand, however, that is just what a lot of the professional writers I know need to do when they are on “deadline.” They have life happening, sometimes more than any one human can handle, yet they always seem to pull off the Herculean task of teasing the story from their psyche and getting it to the agent or editor who is waiting for it “come hell or high water.” I suppose it is why they sometimes “go dark” on social media, perhaps they need a little time to regroup and fill their inspirational well. The process of writing can take a lot out of you emotionally and physically, and I often equate it to being an empty tube of toothpaste and still squeezing as if something will come out. After completing a large project, I am often uninspired and unwilling to write another word. As time goes on, I question whether I will be able to ever write again. That is where this song comes in.
To me, this song represents a block in creativity, some call it “writer’s block” others may call it “burnout.” Whatever you call it doesn’t matter, it all means the same thing. The writer isn’t writing and is filling their day with things that don’t get them any closer to that end. Impostor syndrome rears its ugly head, and thoughts start swirling in the writer’s mind that they aren’t good enough, or that they will never write another word. After weeks of nothing… when they least expect it, a thought comes to them. A glimmer of an idea whispers in their ear. The writer tries to squelch the excitement, they don’t want to give themselves false hope, but there is no use – the Muse has awoken.
“Now you know that you’re wrong, because it drifts like smoke, and it’s been there playin’ all along… now you know, now you know.”
— Norah Jones
Here’s the thing though, and this is where this song comes in… the story never left the writer in the first place, it was there all along. However, I find that quieting the noise and being receptive to what comes to you, is the key to unlocking the door and letting creativity in. The lyrics above are what say that to me. The premise, idea, the thought, that you manage to pick up on in the quiet moments, like during the ride to the store or while you are in the shower, isn’t a new thought at all. I would argue that it was there all along, you just didn’t hear it.
What I love about this song is that after the creative finds her story and gets back on track, the inspiration is sent to the next person to remind them of their creative purpose. The ideas drift one flight down, to the next person in need of a song, and I love that idea. That our art, music, writing, dance, any manner of expressing who we are, is meant to be shared with others, and when it is… it lives on in a whole new medium. That is why the writer does what they do, and why they anguish over finding the perfect selection of words to describe what is in their mind. If the thought they put to paper ends up touching your heart or makes you think… they have done their job.
So my mind “just picked up on the sound” and I have realized that I was wrong. I didn’t run out of ideas or words, I just needed to quiet the noise. I’m finally listening, and I am amazed at what I hear… and as always, I can’t wait to share! In the meantime, please share what inspired you this week, I would love to know what drifted to you like smoke from “One Flight Down.”
As always, thank you for sharing this journey with me, and for taking the time out of your day to read my thoughts. It means a lot. For anyone interested in what I write, please feel free to stay awhile and poke around on my website. I have a ton of content I’ve been developing over the years and I would love to get your thoughts on it.
For my Power of Four series, the best link is:
For my Mythical Creatures posts, head over to:
For more Soundtrack of my Life posts:
And for my Shorts and Tidbits:
As always, I hope this post finds you happy and healthy. Until next time! XO