I was struggling for inspiration when, out of desperation, I picked up the guitar.
I could only remember one chord: A. I plucked away delicately and clumsily, but out of those silly beginnings came the most important song I’d written in over a year: Honeydew.
For over a year I had been writing music “logically”, with the listener in mind: “What do people like? What do people want to listen to? What do I have to say? What do I want to avoid saying?”
I had been going about it all wrong. I was thinking with my head, not with my heart.
I was a shell, drifting in the ocean
At the time of writing Honeydew – and to this day – I am in a very strange time in my life. Often, it’s incredible how overwhelming the pressure is: to maintain a full time job, to commute every day, to pay your bills and rent, to dedicate time to your art and developing your skills and craft (personally my top priority), to dedicate enough time to your friends and loved ones, to deal with the pressures that day-to-day life places on us often without us asking for them or even realising until it’s too late! I feel incredibly directionless most of the time. I can’t hide that. I guess all I can do is try and romanticise the ‘drifter’ life in order to feel better about it. I try my hardest to avoid terms like ‘dead-end’ (rarely is anything truly a dead-end; there are lessons on every corner).
I was in hell, looking up at heaven
I don’t remember who told this story – and I wish I did – but I once read about a man who had been lost at sea, drifting on a raft for days (maybe longer) until he was rescued. In his piece, he wrote about how at night he could do nothing other than look up at the expanse of heavens up above, and marvel. Despite his current situation in the daytime, night time provided an opportunity for him to stare out onto our Universe.
Since childhood, I have always been incredibly fascinated with outer space, space travel, the universe, astronomy. I have spent countless nights staring out onto our sky, and even remember being woken up in the night so my dad could show me shooting stars in the sky.
When I read the story of this man floating along the top of our own vast ocean, I was struck by the image – floating along the top of our world, doing nothing but staring out and almost touching the next. It fit well with the sense of aimless drifting that I had opened the first verse with.
All of that was contrasted with the simple chorus, which I felt brought all these huge feelings back down to Earth with a simple plea for love.
I wrote this song in less than an hour, and I’m incredibly proud of it. Picking up that little nylon guitar and acknowledging how – despite how lost and intimidated I often feel – I am so incredibly lucky to have such a capacity for love, and so lucky to have so much love in my life.