2018-01-13 About ‘August and Everything After’

Last night on my way home from getting groceries one of my favorite Counting Crows songs came up in the shuffle. I could only listen for like a minute before I had to skip to the next song. It wasn’t because it reminds me of something unpleasant. It’s because when Adam sings live, and it was obviously a recording of a live show, he tends to go “off script”, and just sing whatever he wants.

Maybe those departures are arrangements that are well planned out and practices, but they are so different from the studio recording, that one can’t even try to sing along. I like to sing along. I especially like to sing along to my favorites.. the ones I know by heart because my heart is so moved by them.

So when that song came on, I was so excited because I haven’t heard it in a while. After a few versus though, I was disgusted and had to hit “next”. It did leave me wanting to revisit the Crows so that’s my selection this morning for my morning workout (the original recording of ‘August and Everything After’, which is my favorite album of theirs).

Now that that is established, there are three places this can go…

1.) Backstory of the road trip my sister and I took in 2008 to see Counting Crows live in Chicago.

2.) The narritave I wrote about Adam after that experience.

3.) The significance in the title of that album in my relationship with Matt.

I’m really not sure which way to go on this. #1 could be long and I’m not sure I’ve got time for that. #2 Is still one of my favorites after all these years, but I’d rather just post it again instead of writing about it (show don’t tell 😉). #3 feels right for this moment…

As long as I’ve been writing, as far back as I can remember and have content to show for my efforts, I’ve had a thing with naming my Work. I’ve organized, cataloged, grouped, named and described everything.

Every journal had a name. Every poem from those journals was collected and copied together in a separate location, and each of those extracted sets was given a name. I put a lot of thought into all the names so there’s significance in all of it.

One has to recognize that all those early artifacts were pre 1992. There was no cloud online or copy-paste or even typed writing. It was all hand written, reviewed, revisited, page after page. Even the colors of the folders I selected had significance and I spent a great deal of time on all of it.

I still have most of that work. It’s in a box on a shelf in my bedroom closet and on my list of things to grab if there’s time, in an emergency. The notebooks are so worn and delicately still attached to their spiral binding. The folders are in better shape, and there’s even extra folders in the box because I once had hopes of more. Most of that stuff is garbage rambling of an emotional teenage girl. It’s not worth anything to anyone but me, but it is a record and that means something to me.

I didn’t get my typewriter (a Brother AX24, I believe) until I was a senior in HS, and I only ever used it for school Work In HS and my first years in college. I’ve got very little from those days and my personal writing remained handwritten. Incidentally that was also about the time I started dating Brian and I graduated from community college the same month we got married.

What followed was a long drought in my writing. I went from writing hundreds of pages to writing virtually nothing at all… for years. I guess that’s what adult life does to a person.

Work, relationships, tv and movies replaced my original go-to for what to do with my time. I had my career and I had my babies and for a very long time, I really didn’t have the time to write.

It was not until 2008 that my life started to change. Time accounting is important to me so I feel the need to point out that for 15 years of my life, there was very little writing. I had a few small random journals from when I was pregnant or after I had C and was trying to lose weight, and a few random blurbs and poems inspired by fairly significant events, but not more than that. Sadly.

2008 was the year I finally came to the end of what I was willing to endure with my marriage. Not to be dismissed is the nudge I got from starting to have feelings for another man. The latter may have fueled the fire for the former, but both were turning points and I started to write again.

Incidentally, 2008 was also the year my sisters and I went to Chicago to see the Counting Crows. I did not intend to make a circle back to this, but there it is.

What followed in the years to come was my divorce and more writing. Then dating again and more writing. Falling in love is sweet and capturing that with poetry and words is priceless. I admit my writing waned again in the middle of my relationship with Matt, but as soon as there were issues, it picked up again. With each new phase, I was documenting everything and just as before categorizing and labeling.

I had collections named for the person I was dating or that time in my life and this time, most of it was electronic and either in folders on my laptop or online or both. When I started using Evernote in 2009 it made things so much easier. When I started my blog in 2010, I found joy in the organization of it all.

My need for labeling things probably contributes to my desire to have multiple blogs. So this one is for stream of consciousness journaling and that one for poetry and creative writing. It all makes sense to me and that’s the way I like it.

I start dating Matt in August of 2011. When we started, I was sure that this was it. I’d finally found the one and we were a great match and it was going to last forever. I think he thought so too. We both liked the Counting Crows and one of the first things we did in our relationship was share all of our favorite music. The “notebook” I have from that time in my life, right up to our relationship breathing it’s last breath is therefore called “August and Everything After”.

That’s a long, mostly irrelevant story just to get to a very brief conclusion. But I guess that’s just how it goes sometimes. I’m still sad that “Everything After” only lasted for about 5 years and I really have not yet come to conclude what the current phase of my life shall be titled. Most of the time, the inspiration for that doesn’t really come until there is something noteworthy to make it make sense.

For now, I’ll just keep being Miss SugarCookie and rolling along with the punches, singing my tunes.

“I am the Rain King”
~Miss SugarCookie

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