Logjams

In January I had an idea to go back into the studio and write some new music. Lots of people know that I’ve recorded three albums. By lots, I mean dozens. Those albums were amazing outlets for me to work through my thoughts, but more importantly, I just enjoy writing music. In January of this year, I started a new song and had a brilliant idea. I would write a new song every month about what I was thinking, feeling, experiencing. But I couldn’t get past the first line. It’s a really good line. I’ve sat down at least ten times to get past the line, but it just won’t come out.

So, in February, I started a new song. It has an amazing feel. Billy Joel and Elton John in my head. A little funky, but straight piano rock. (I have this app on my phone where I record my melodies and ideas because I’ll forget them so quickly if I don’t.) I’ve got a tight piano groove and a mumbled, monosyllabic mutter throughout…but no words. Not even one word.

Again in March, I tried. Another really cool vibe, but no words. April, same thing. That song is epic. Really big, really fun. An anthemic chorus. No words. 

For those four months, I have four tunes and one line. I need a second line.

I started reading Steven King about four years ago. Actually, I read his book On Writing about eight years ago. It’s part memoir, part how-to-write. It’s so good. It made me want to write even more. After reading it, I assumed that I should probably read some of his fiction. If he can write about writing that well, surely he can write. I began with a tome- 11/22/63. I was blown away by the character development, the story arc, the creativity. I just kept reading him. A few other fiction books mixed in after I finish one, but I keep coming back to him. 

Except that I’m in the middle of one right now, and I’m having a hard time picking it back up. The story is good and I’m interested. But I keep coming up with other excuses of things to do. (I only read one fiction book at a time, but I’ll have several non-fiction books going often.)

I love fiction. It is often more honest than anything else that I’m reading. Not real, not factual, but true. But I haven’t picked it back up in over a month. Maybe two. I’m sure a counselor could sort it out, but I’m log-jammed. 

I’ve sat down to write here a dozen times over the last year. But nothing will come out. Every time that I sit down, I have this story in my head that I need to tell. But I don’t want to. I want to talk about my life. For me. 

I always wrote for me. My memory is lousy, and I needed to remember. I have nearly two years of my life on paper. Holidays and normal days, silly conversations and important ones, comedy and tragedy. And I’m so glad that I wrote them down. I now have a collection of these beautiful stories of our life for a season. Writing helped me to see the sacred inside of the struggle. And I haven’t reflected for the sacred in a long time. Because every time I sit down to write, I need to tell this story. But I don’t want to. 

I don’t want to tell the story of that last weekend. I don’t want to remember the final breath. I really don’t want to see my kids faces again when I told them that their mom was gone. I don’t want to go to the funeral again or watch my brothers and nephews carry the casket. But I need to. It’s time to. It’s time to unjam the logs and write again. Not because writing is magic, but because writing helps me to see. To see the beauty and the sacred in the mundane and the monotonous. To see joy and to see pain. To see that tragedy and suffering aren’t the worst parts of life, but that they are simply parts of life. 

So, tonight I’m going to pick my book back up. Tomorrow I’m going to go back to the piano and sit there until I get that second line. And sometime soon, I’m going to tell the story. 

58 Comments for “Logjams”

Susan Bethea

says:

I have missed this. I want you to write it all. I want t o read it all. You are a wonderful human. You are very special to me. I am going t o have some money one day, and I am going to send it to you, because I want every single thing you have recorded. Thank you for this.

Dianne Montgomery

says:

I read this as soon as I saw it Jeremy. I think of you and your kids often and pray for you both when I think of you. Thanks for being such a great Dad. You made many good memories in NYC for a special young lady. I can only imagine. Writing is seasonal. It can be personal and individual, cleansing and cathartic. It can be transparent and uplifting, encouraging and a collaborative effort. God will use you to write in such a way that first ministers to you, then others. Then He will use you to write with and encourage others to write as He uses your lyrics and music to inspire. This will bring Him glory and you joy.
You are so loved Jeremy by God Jeremy, and by your family and friends. Be you.

Missy Holcombe

says:

My heart smiled when I received the notification that you’d written something. Jeremy, so many times I’ve read your words or even heard something you’ve said through Morgan and immediately I’d think, that’s how I feel but didn’t know how to put it into words. When I read your writing, it’s like you’ve seen inside of me and put to words what I can’t. That’s God. I love to write, but I think what I love more is when someone else has the gift of writing and those words not only soothe and minister to him, but also when I read them, they bring healing and life, tears and laughter, and somehow tell my heart it’s going to be ok. Thank you for sharing your gift!

says:

“I love fiction. It is often more honest than anything else that I’m reading.” This is so true. Sometimes I feel that fiction is the best vehicle for truth. Fiction can enter countries where nonfiction is prohibited. Thank you for writing again, I can’t wait to read your post.

Morgan Dudley

says:

Jeremy, I was so happy to see the email notification. I love your openness and honesty. Grief is so hard and can’t be measured by time. Everyone does it differently and with God’s help we somehow make it through. You are an inspiration to so many. Please don’t stop writing. We need to read and hear it. Your kids are so lucky to have you. I have not told you this, but I will never forget the times I saw you guys at Dairy Queen. I was blown away as I watched you feed her as she shook so hard you almost couldn’t get her mouth. After seeing how you were with her, you are my hero. Thank you for showing us what unconditional love looks like. Always praying for you all!

Trish

says:

OMWORD!!! I have missed your writing !!! Was “ over the moon” when I just received notification..thank you for your transparency through this uncharted journey of life ..So thankful He holds the compass and we TRULY are not alone ..May you continue to be surrounded by His presence and be inspired with your music

Heather Vecera

says:

You are full of passion…I love that you share raw truth. There are so many things to process and you are doing it, everyday. It is so important to soak in the little moments both good and bad and reflect with the kids. You have grown stronger and wiser…in the right time…the words will flow to share. You are always on my mind and in my prayers. God has gifted you with talents of writing and music…everything you write speaks to me in a powerful way. Do what you can each day to share as much of those gifts with others even if for now it’s just you and the kids. You can do this, I believe in you!

Elton Brooke

says:

Good to read your thoughts again. Writing helps us walk through the doors of our memories bringing meaning and purpose. Our stories of grief and memories of loved now gone connect us as humans. It’s the most significant experience that we can share. Bless you on your journey.

Tracey

says:

I love to read your pieces…so raw and true and real and helps me feels normal! Confusion is normal. Pain and happiness are normal. Living life and figuring it out and not always getting it right is normal.

Sylvia

says:

Hola,
Extrañaba esto y me alegra ver que has regresado a tu blog. Admiro tu valentía de escribir tus pensamientos y sentimientos de una manera tan honesta. No todos podemos enseñar nuestra vulnerabilidad. Dios te de la guianza para que seguir usando los talentos con los cuales Dios te ha bendecido.
Bendiciones hermano!

Eva Johnson

says:

I relate to writing my thoughts, my feelings, and my experiences down on paper. It is insightful and helps me to see myself more clearly. God shows me things even years after I wrote something; even though I thought the words or lyrics would be for someone else. However, it was for me at that moment and for that time. I try to pray and journal, but I seem to express my feeling and prayers mostly in lyrics even when I am not trying. Jeremy I pray for you and your family, and I thank you for all the lives you seem to touch through the transparency of your writing. Don’t ever worry about that next line, because the song is already written. Just let it out.

Angela Saucier

says:

Jeremy Daniel Sims, my hero :). I love your transparency. Your truth. Not a lot of people have that nowadays. All of us have our own ways to cope. Mine is to hole up & shut the world out. We are so thankful to call you friend. Friend, you are loved. Angela S.

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