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Lusty Lady

BLOG OF RACHEL KRAMER BUSSEL
Watch me talk about my debut as an author, Sex & Cupcakes: A Juicy Collection of Essays, in this Q&A with my publisher Thought Catalog Books

Thursday, October 27, 2011

"Adele, Joni Mitchell and Me" - putting the personal in personal essays

I've been writing lots of personal essays lately, more on the way, including one next week I sold to a website I've been a fan of since it launched. Promise more cheerful ones soon, maybe even one about judging cupcake contests. I also booked my trip to Portland, Maine for next month, my birthday present to myself. And I'm doing National Novel Writing Month. I'm not gonna "make a lot of money and quit this crazy scene." I'm here, now, as tough as these last few weeks have been in their way and as challenging as the next few months/years will be. I'm figuring it all out as I go. One day at a time. Indeed.

"Adele, Joni and Me: Or My Two-Song Broken Heart Playlist

I can't seem to go a day without hearing "Someone Like You" by Adele. At a deli, a café, in a store or on my very own iTunes. I've been listening to it for months now as an anthem of a relationship that needed to end but that I didn't want to end. It was at once hazy and undefined, punctuated by periods of intense attention and interaction followed by fallow periods of silence, extreme highs and lows interspersed in ways that fed off each other in what I'll delicately call not the healthiest way.

The Adele song is not an exact transliteration of that relationship, but the spirit behind it is one I've tried to feel all the way through me. She says in the link above that she was miserable and lonely when she wrote it, that it came at a moment when she was "on her knees" and that this song summarizes her entire relationship, and that it's made her who she is at the moment, and that is the part I deeply, deeply relate to. Wherever I am, when it comes on, I have to pause and listen to the whole thing, truly listening in a way I rarely do to even my favorite songs. You think you know what they say, you sing or hum along even if you don't know all the words, or maybe you just listen to the throatiness of Adele's voice, the power and beauty and sadness and love wrapped around every note.

Read the whole thing (and if you like it, please like it on Facebook and/or pass it on - I want to make an impression over at Open Salon, which I also encourage you to check out, SO many amazing essays). And yeah, I'm striving for new topics, not old ones, but sometimes words just want to come out.

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