Many blogs and social media posts this week center around one concept; gratitude. I’m usually slightly different than the norm, so this blog post will not be about gratitude. But wait! It isn’t that I am not grateful, because I am and have SO MUCH to be grateful for in my life. I’ll just write about it at another point in time. It’s all because of what today’s post is actually about…inspiration.
Right now, I want to share more about this topic because, well simply, I feel inspired at this moment. And maybe you will get inspired also. I’m in a new phase of my author journey and the creative juices have been flowing even more lately. I don’t have a rhyme or reason for the surge, but am going with it.
I have found over the last few years that music is a key component of my inspiration for creating art. Growing up in an Italian family, I learned about music from day 1. Not only was it always playing in my house, but we all played instruments as well. I begrudgingly learned to play the organ at age 7. The organ! What 7-year-old girl wants to play a big old boring instrument like that? Not this one. I thought it was a “boy instrument” and as the epitome of a feminine girl, did not want anything to do with it. The piano, now that was a “girl instrument.” But the D’Angelos had an organ in the house, so there I was taking lessons.
After a few years, my parents finally let me stop taking lessons. I could play fine, but did not enjoy it, much to my parents’ chagrin. It wasn’t until middle school that I wanted to try another instrument. You are guessing right if you are thinking I chose a “girl instrument.” The flute was my new love. I played at home all the time, at church for services, and then in the high school band (concert and marching, thank you very much). I had a blast with my dainty, feminine new form of expression.
From college on, however, the actual playing of music faded as adult responsibilities kicked in. It wasn’t until about 5 years ago that I had a burning desire to play something again. During that time, one instrument was a star and when I saw it one time in a quirky Zooey Deschanel video, I knew the ukulele was for me. Where were stringed instruments all my life? This is the one for me. So, I taught myself and now sing and play as much as I can. I can’t get enough. Look at her shining beauty (I even decorated her backside).
Over the last 5 years or so, I noticed that songs on the radio or from my playlists began to make sense with unanswered questions in my life or even related to something happening that day. Now, brace yourself. I have a few loved ones that are deceased and I do believe sometimes there are signs from them. Hopefully that isn’t too woo-woo for you, but it’s true. I especially believe my dad sends me messages through music at times. Of course that’s how he would connect to me; he was a professional musician in life, so it makes sense.
When I couldn’t think of a title for my novel, I made lists of random words and subjects it was about, but nothing made sense. I tried to come up with a title for months, but concluded nothing. I knew it would come to me in time, but never expected how it would come to me.
I searched online for certain words that were relevant one morning. Pictures, articles, blogs, and whatever else I found lead to dead ends. As soon as I stopped looking one specific day, a song came on that I hadn’t heard in the longest time. Do you remember the band The Wallflowers? They have a song called “The Difference” (hmm, does that sound familiar?). It clicked in my mind that the song title was the perfect title for my novel. Art inspired art. I immediately brought the video up on YouTube and guess what solidified my decision to use the name. There was an organist in the video. What 90s video ever had an organist in the band? What band in general really has someone playing organ? And I do not mean a keyboard, I mean there is an organ. I knew that was a sign from my dad. Ironically, right after that an Elvis song played from my playlist (yeah, I’m eclectic) and he was my dad’s favorite singer.
Okay organ, you win. You didn’t come back to haunt me, but instead finally found your way to my heart. I will continue to play my uke passionately, but that darn instrument called the organ will just have to have a small space in my soul as well. My dad says so.
I hope that you can share what inspires you in your life in the comments below. Let me know because you never know how you can touch others with your messages. I hope you’ve been inspired in some way to create, look for signs, or just let the music play. Happy Thanksgiving.