When digital music first came about a few years ago, I loved the idea of having access to pretty much any music I wanted and these days, whether it’s downloading or streaming, there are even more opportunities to have no physical music and own more music ‘that you can’t touch’ and I find a strange joy in having the space that not having countless CDs creates.
I don’t necessarily need the space for anything else as I just find it calming enjoying a space filled with emptiness.
And this doesn’t only apply to CDs, but to many other things including clothes I haven’t worn for a long time, books and DVDs for example. However, one of the most challenging but ultimately rewarding things I find to ‘throw away’ are song lyrics. I’ve been writing lyrics and songs since I was a child and over the years, there have been hundreds of pages of words, dreams, ideas, notes and finished lyrics which never saw the light of day because if I haven’t used them after a certain period of time, I throw them away or these days, delete them.
In fact in the past, I used to take great pleasure in physically ripping up these pieces of paper as it felt that although I had invested a lot of time and creative energy in writing the words in the first place, the process of ripping them up seemed appropriately ritualistic and I felt that the new ‘space’ I was creating would enable me to be even more creative in the future. Of course, I’ll never know if at some point I ripped up the best song ever written, but I do feel that this ‘ritual’ encouraged and perhaps even forced me to be more creative over the years.
Though it can be a scary prospect if you don’t feel confident enough in your future ability to create, destroying ‘old’ ideas can be creative in itself that you are making space for even more creativity. Another truth is that I enjoy a good old purge periodically as each time, it makes me feel ‘lighter’ and gives me a sense of freedom and energy to deal with the present and whatever the future holds, creatively or otherwise.
There’s a wonderful strength in the space between the things in life which is quietly powerful.
And of course with a new year having just begun, it’s the perfect time to rip it up and start again, don’t you think?
Here’s a fantastic song by Orange Juice.