Wednesday, May 17, 2017

One Piece at a Time

I grew up on the Everly Brothers, Roy Orbison, and the great Johnny Cash. From the time I was a bitty kid, I would sing “Bye, Bye, Love,” “Crying (over you)” and “Ring of Fire."(I still do.) But the best of them all was Johnny Cash. Johnny Cash was a hero in our house.

Recently I was lucky enough to tour the Johnny Cash Museum in Nashville!!!

Let me tell you a little bit about my tour.
First row, third person: JR Cash

In all of his pictures, even the childhood ones, he appeared to be a somber, serious person. When Johnny was growing up, he was called J.R. Cash.  As he got older, he was John.  Then he became Johnny Cash.

I was impressed and a little overwhelmed by all the stuff in his collection. What I liked most is that he was a writer. He wrote letters to friends and fans. He wrote love notes to his wives (he had two- but not at the same time!), and he wrote MUSIC. I mean he wrote a lot of music.

Those hand written pages pulled me in through the whole museum. I know I missed some other cool stuff because I spent all my time, nose-to-glass, reading his work.

Definition of 'caret', courtesy of Google Images
I really began to understand his genius because it seemed like the words must have just poured out of him- most of the creative works on display had very few crossed out/deleted words or sections – conversely, there were also very few caret insertions as well.

Photo by ME!
I took only one picture (to my deep regret) while in the museum. It is of a “Writing Exercise” from 1999. I love it because even great talents need to work at keeping the muse alive. It says: 
Dec. 8, 1999
I'm going to try to write now. I'm not sure I can, but I'm going to try. I'll write: Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country. I'm writing better now than I have in a quite awhile. See how I'm not skipping a line but am writing on every line. I'm much steadier than I've been in months.

A bit of the lyrics to One Piece at a Time, by
Johnny Cash
The song One Piece at a Time is a favorite of mine. It’s a silly fun song, the type Johnny Cash rarely did. It’s about an auto worker who steals parts from the factory over a twenty or so year period and builds his own car from all the parts he’s yanked over the years. I’ve linked a You Tube video of the song here.

Like Johnny Cash’s creative process, we all have to take it one piece at a time. Just one. I can do just one. You can do just one, too. Right? Then keep adding to that one. That’s how to get IT done. What ever your IT may be...
One piece at a time.

Rest in peace, Johnny Cash.

Until next time,

Be Good to Yourself.


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