Tom Waits and a Place for Birds to Land

“I like the idea that there are things coming in through the window and through you and then down to the piano and out the window on the other side. If you want to catch songs you gotta start thinking like one, and making yourself an interesting place for them to land like birds or insects. Once you get two or three tunes together, wherever three or more are gathered, then others come. It’s like a line for a hot dog place, you know? And when there’s four people lined up on the sidewalk, some people will stop and get in line just ’cause there’s a line.”

Tom Waits

This is from an old NYT profile on Waits and his creative practice. His image of birds as otherworld messengers, as counsel with the muse, is an ancient idea shared by many cultures and it reminds me of that old story about the woman who would sit in the park at the same time every day to feed the birds. Every day she’d be there, every day she’d feed them, until she inevitably missed a day, but do you know what happened? The birds still came.

Show up. Consistently. It’s the only way the muse knows how to find you. And she will find you. 🕊️

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