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My drug of choice is writing––writing, art, reading, inspiration, books, creativity, process, craft, blogging, grammar, linguistics, and did I mention writing?

Thursday, January 27, 2022

What Else Can I Do? (From Encanto) [Inspiration]

Disney
Like everyone else on Earth, apparently, I've been listening to the Encanto soundtrack lately. I actually saw (and loved) it in the theaters—well…the drive-in technically*—and I was kind of delighted to see everyone catch up when it landed on Disney+ streaming.

(*There are little kids in my world, so I'm still very Covid conscious.) 

It's possible, though, that I'm hyperfocusing on something a little different than most folks. While it seems the entire world watches the Madrigals "not" talk about Bruno, this is the song I'VE got on repeat.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBeZSuHI4Qc&ab_channel=DisneyMusicVEVO
Full lyrics at the bottom.

For me this song says so much about art and the creative process and is such an anthem for young artists (and especially writers) to embrace. I think about lines like "It's not symmetrical or perfect, But it's beautiful and it's mine" or lines like "What could I do if I just grew what I was feelin' in the moment? What could I do if I just knew it didn't need to be perfect? It just needed to be?" and I think about how so many writers (and more broadly artists) get frozen because they want their drafts to be perfect. They don't trust that they can just write something in the moment and that the most important part of a first draft is simply that it EXISTS. 

Or I think about how so many writers try so hard to be "clever" with their writing instead of just reaching into themselves and finding something genuine, authentic, and honest. "I'm so sick of pretty, I want something true, don't you?"

Of course, there's revision to come, and the practice improves the craft, but how many would-be writers would create so much more if they would just let go of their need to be perfect and wrote "deeply, madly, truly" in the moment.

While there is something to be said for continuously working to refine one's craft and to work to perfect the ability to express ideas, the genesis of art is not about practiced perfection. It's about unexpected, new, and sharp


Lyrics

Diane Guerrero, Stephanie Beatriz- From Encanto (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), Disney, 2021

I just made something unexpected
Something sharp, something new
It's not symmetrical or perfect
But it's beautiful and it's mine
What else can I do?
Bring it in, bring it in
Good talk, bring it in, bring it in (what else can I do?)
Let's walk, bring it in, bring it in
Free hugs, bring it in, bring it in
I grow rows and rows of roses
Flor de mayo, by the mile
I make perfect, practiced poses
So much hides behind my smile
What could I do if I just grew what I was feelin' in the moment?
(Do you know where you're going? Whoa)
What could I do if I just knew it didn't need to be perfect?
It just needed to be? And they'd let me be?
A hurricane of jacarandas
Strangling figs (big), hanging vines (this is fine)
Palma de cera fills the air as I climb
And I push through
What else can I do?
Can I deliver us a river of sundew?
Careful, it's carnivorous, a little just won't do
I wanna feel the shiver of something new
I'm so sick of pretty, I want something true, don't you?
You just seem like your life's been a dream (whoa)
Since the moment you opened your eyes
(How far do these roots go down?)
All I know are the blossoms you grow (whoa)
But it's awesome to see how you rise
How far can I rise?
Through the roof, to the skies
Let's go
A hurricane of jacarandas (woo)
Strangling figs (go), hanging vines (grow)
Palma de cera fills the air as I climb
And I push through
What else, what else?
What can you do when you are deeply, madly, truly in the moment?
(Seize the moment, keep goin')
What can you do when you know who you wanna be is imperfect?
But I'll still be okay
Hey, everybody clear the way, woo
I'm comin' through with tabebuia (she's comin' through with that boo-yeah)
Making waves (making waves), changing minds (you've changed mine)
The way is clearer 'cause you're here, and well
I owe this all to you
What else can I do?
(Show 'em what you can do)
What else can I do?
(There's nothing you can't do)
What else can I do?

1 comment:

  1. Wow! That's really inspiring. I remember the first thing my dad said when I tried to show him my writing was to the effect that it didn't resemble a real writer. Dad's intentions were good but is that she was about control. This post put me in a positive headspace.

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