hang it on our fridge
Published August 22, 2021
When you were a little kid, did your parents hang your kindergarten artwork up on the refrigerator? Did you make a drawing of you and your mom as stick figures holding hands under a crayon rainbow and fold it in half and write “Happy Mother’s Day” on the inside? And did she keep it on her bedroom dresser for a month?
Sometimes our families-of-origin aren’t always supportive of our art-making, but Jeff Tweedy talks about the times that we may have experienced this kind of celebration:
“That is what I want to convey, more than anything…you have to stop thinking that you’re going to make something great, or something that might make you famous. You have to stop thinking about anything other than what happened when you were a little kid, and you laid on the floor, and you drew. And you lost yourself in that drawing. And in the end, you absolutely loved that drawing because you made it yourself. And the drawing got hung up on the fridge regardless of how good it was, because your mom loves you and everybody loves you. Why can’t you be that kind to yourself?”
Oy, that last line gets me a little bit, but yes, that’s the deal.
At the end of every Friday Afternoon Songwriting Club, we make a brief gesture (thank you, Barbara Dilley!) to celebrate and offer what came during our composing time, regardless of how good it was. And sometimes we post our unfinished songs on the forum to celebrate that something came and to listen to it in community so that we can better hear what’s working about it
Yeah, if I’m being honest, that’s how I think of the forum for FASC – it’s your mom’s fridge. Maybe something will get pulled down from there later and framed, but for now, we simply celebrate that the song creation happened.
Alternatively, maybe you have a friend who can hear your unfinished pieces (possibly another songwriter) and refrain from giving “constructive” feedback (Ted, was “have you thought about taking singing lessons?” really a constructive comment?). Text them a voice memo and ask them to send you the appropriate emoji in return.
In the meantime, let’s all try to do a little more of what Mr. Tweedy suggests and “be that kind” to ourselves.
hang it on our fridge,
for golden lotus studio
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