The Locked Door

As I’ve dug through boxes of my long-gathered stuff over the past few years, I’ve been finding music notebooks here and there, the kind with staffs in them, some of them dating back to my college days.

There are, I guess, about ten of them, with about half of them half-filled with assignments from five quarters of music theory at St. Cloud State. And in all ten or so are tunes I’ve written over the years, from my earliest efforts during my senior year of high school to my most recent in the mid-1990s.

I wonder sometimes why I haven’t written anything since then, either lyrics or music, and I can come to no conclusion, except that to write the kind of songs I have written over the years, I must open an internal door that has for years been closed and locked. On the other side of that door is my songwriter’s voice.

I have a glimmering this morning of how I might craft a key to that door. In those notebooks, I’ve found a few melodies that have no words. Some of them are lengthy, and some are no more than a few measures. I’m not entirely certain when I wrote them, but I would guess that they’re from the late 1980s or early 1990s.

Now, just finding random melodies wouldn’t encourage me much, but I evidently had some ideas for lyrics as I scribbled down these five tunes (five that I’ve found so far; there very well may be more in the stack of notebooks), because they have titles that give me at least a slight clue as to what I had in mind.

The titles are “Build A House Of Dreams,” “And We Begin Again,” “Catalina, Come Home,” “Anna Lee,” and “Little Darlin’.” My next step is to take those notebooks some afternoon to our church, where I have access to a keyboard, and see if the melodies and their titles say anything to me now.

I’m hoping that one of them might provide the key to that door that’s been locked for so long so that I may find my voice.

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