Just this week, thanks to a boost in my finances due to tax returns, I was finally able to get a new pair of headphones; the ones I’ve used before had completely ceased to work. For me, this was practically a tragedy. Whenever I go anywhere, I like to have my music with me, especially when I’m walking to work just because it gets me in a good mood. Usually, the music inspires me, as well, and there’s always a few songs that are almost heartbreaking for me, because I listen to them and long to create something as beautiful and poetic as these songs.
The song that got me yesterday was Abilene; I have the Damien Jurado cover.
“I fell in love with a girl of nineteen.
A black haired girl called Abilene.”
There’s just something so old-fashioned and classically simple about this song that moves me. The young lovers slipping off in the night; I get the impression that their lives are quiet ones, and, through the last lines, you feel perhaps they’ll find that there’s much more of a life out there for them, and, as long as they have each other. But it won’t be easy, especially since Abilene is the name of a city in Kansas at the end of Chisholm Trail into the west, so those who took the road to Abilene would find it a hard journey, only to find themselves still in the wilds of the western frontier. When I first started listening to the song, I was not aware of the history behind the name, but I love how it just confirms the very vivid story that plays out in my head whenever I listen to it.
And I want to create a story so vivid myself inspired by this song. I don’t think I could touch the beautiful simplicity of the piece itself without outright copying it, wherein lies the challenge, but, on the other hand, it isn’t as if the tale of a young, poor man wanting to whisk away a sheltered, dark-eyed beauty into the wilderness of the unknown is an uncommon story. I feel I might be altering the story of Meriet in the current novel I’m working on to reflect this; she’s from a small village, and there could be this whole thing with a romance between a man her mother does not approve of, and, together, they join Solomon’s journey to escape.
What can I say? I’m a sucker for a romance sometimes, I really am. And it’s a beautiful song, one of the many that just make me really feel how badly I want to create the feelings in people that these songs are able to create inside of me.
When seeing the name of that song made me think of one of my favorite songs with the same name.