Writing Again

After an incredible slump in creativity, caused by MS interference, I am pleased to report that my muses seem to be nudging me to write again. Composing a new song or two would be a huge breakthrough for me.
Here’s the rub : How to compose music when the very process of listening to music makes me run from the room ?
My guitar work is still super, my voice and 3 octave range still intact (just ask my cat) and my love for lyrical writing is alive and well.

What took me off the stage and made me put all music aside was the effect that Multiple Sclerosis has had on my brain’s ability to “translate” incoming music and rhythm. When you listen to music you enjoy it, yes ?
Sure there are forms of music, musicians and singers you don’t care for but, if you asked most people, everyone would say they “enjoy” music.

I don’t enjoy music or repetitive sounds, it is maddening, I can’t stand it and I have to be where there isn’t music playing. Multiple Sclerosis attacked the wiring in my brain that deciphers music and rhythm. Consequently, most incoming sound translates as wrenching metal or garbled pounding. Oddly, sometimes I get a shift in brain function that means I can tolerate old music that I know by heart, usually music from 1920’s to 1960’s, but only one song at a time, perhaps once a week. After one song I have to turn the music off.

It is the worst thing to have happened to anyone, let alone a professional musician who’s been entertaining people since the age of 14.
There is an excellent book about this kind of brain damage by Dr. Sachs entitled “Musicophilia” wherein he describes several cases of musicians who lost their ability to listen to music.
My MS specialist said that my brain cannot take the stimuli of sound and, in an attempt to limit the coming seizure, takes over and has me react before I even know what I’ve done. This started in 1993 when I would suddenly go around turning off the tvs, radios and stereos in the house even though someone else was listening to them.

Those of us with MS often talk about having to adjust to new realities as we go along. It really is like something out of a the Twilight Zone. Reality just shifts suddenly, as if time and space have taken a slight step to the left, and we have to feel out this new reality and find a way to get comfortable with it because it is not going to shift back.
These shifts may happen a few times a year or, for some, only very rarely.

Occasionally, the “new reality” stays in place long enough for brain communications to settle down and reroute themselves. A window opens and there is a tiny slit of opportunity that presents itself.
I know that this is what has happened to me and my window opened, ever so slightly, in June of this year. I started knitting and the colors looked good from one day to the next, I went into my fiber stash and organized the colors to start spinning wool again for projects AND I began singing around the house.

Knowing that this window can slam shut at any time has me enjoying creative play in every moment, creating little art pieces for friends and recording bits and pieces of new tunes.

I don’t know how long this new reality will last but I wanted to let you all know that I have never given up the idea of recording fresh albums and publishing all my lyrics in an illustrated book through all these stagnant years.
The Sci-Fi and Fantasy communities have stayed with me all this time, keeping me company and writing encouraging letters and emails. I really hope I can give something back to you…. before the dark window closes again.

Be well, be happy,
πŸ™‚ Meg

10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. megdavisarts
    Apr 27, 2016 @ 08:44:24

    Thanks for your encouragement, it means a great deal !
    πŸ™‚ Meg


  2. chris otsuki
    Jan 26, 2016 @ 11:35:17

    i long for the day you publish some more songs. i love wonderland and play it all the time.


  3. megdavisarts
    Feb 04, 2015 @ 16:46:38

    Thanks so much for your heartfelt support, Karen. I’m doing well with my vocal therapy and my therapist is as eager to get me back to full voice as I am. My MS specialist actually sent me for this therapy because he saw what a grey cloud hovered over me because of my music problems.

    We must try combinations of different medications and timing to see how I could spend several weeks recording a new album. I want to come back to Cincinnati to record as my favorite sound engineer is there. At the moment, I’m leaning towards a spooky, Octoberish album of atmospheric music and southern lore.

    Well, we’ll see how things go, I can’t let me imagination get ahead of reality in this situation.
    In the meantime, I’ll try to remember to post here more often so people can follow my progress.

    Thanks for checking in & give my howdy-do to your sister,
    πŸ™‚ Meg


  4. Karen Bertke
    Feb 04, 2015 @ 14:23:12

    I was heartbroken as I read that you could not enjoy music anymore and my heart leapt for you when I heard that you have had a break through moment where you are returned to yourself. I pray that it is of long duration! I know how much music was a part of your life. I will look forward to anything you put out.


  5. megdavisarts
    Oct 01, 2014 @ 02:07:17

    Ooo, how lovely ! Please post your radio call letters and address here for others to find. AM, FM, Podcasts and Internet radio !

    Thanks so much for your enthusiasm. I am very happy that my brain is letting creativity twinkle through. I don’t know how long this will last, and the door might close at any moment, so I’m concentrating my efforts.

    πŸ˜‰ Meg


  6. Cindy Funk
    Sep 27, 2014 @ 11:26:59

    I was choosing music for my radio show today, and pulled out your The Burnings West Indies cd. I noticed your website, and decided to check in with your after a long while. So glad I did! The news that you may do some writing again is wonderful! xox


  7. megdavisarts
    Sep 26, 2014 @ 01:27:08

    Such a wonderful and joyful gift you’ve given to me with the simple act of performing ” If I Had My Life To Live Over” during your lecture. I’m emailing you now and I look forward to sharing more stories.
    πŸ˜‰ M


  8. jillern
    Sep 24, 2014 @ 12:26:21

    I wanted to share this video of my talk at my Unitarian Universalist Church in Franklin, NC about libraries changing lives…I sang one of your songs at the end and thought I might share…http://vimeo.com/91427341 (I hope you approve….)


  9. megdavisarts
    Aug 16, 2014 @ 08:24:51

    Thanks for the support, Andrew. You have the right idea and I’ve been trying to be happy with small accomplishments. It’s been hard and doing lots of music and art is still ingrained in me, as strongly as it was when I came down with MS in 1993.

    A little treat here and there, a friendly hello across the interwebs and a good sense of humor get me through. Well..that..and a lot of animation.

    Lumpy Space Princess Rules !
    πŸ™‚ Meg


  10. Andrew
    Aug 10, 2014 @ 13:32:02

    Enjoy whatever creativity you have.


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