P: Mommy, look at me.
M: Yes, I see you.
P: Mommy, LOOK.
M: Yes, I see you, P.
P: Mommy, look at me!
M: Yes, I see you wearing a glove.
(P trots off with a satisfied, proud chuckle, holding his glove high.)
So I’ve been thinking about the magic of that word “glove,” how mentioning it, naming it, was what satisfied P. The same thing satisfies me—when I read a book, or talk to a friend, and hear or read something that is familiar to me, when an experience or emotion of mine is named by someone else, I feel understood, satisfied, accepted.
Maybe that’s part of what draws me to music. Some pieces of music just seem to name emotions better than others. A certain piece might name to me the feeling I felt when I made myself do something really hard (break off an engagement). Or name that highest of high feelings that comes when I discover that I am liked by the object of my adoration (first love). Or the lonely, nostalgic feeling of fall.
I think the joy that I get when I am truly named is what causes me to want to write. I want to be the one that names, and that brings that joy to others.