“Creativity can be repetitive and boring until it’s transcendent.”
I truly love this quote from a recent New York Times article entitled on Peter Jackson’s Get Back documentary. From watching this brilliant trilogy, I had a great opportunity to see how messy, fun, and magical the creative process is meant to be and who better to learn this from than the incredible Fab Four.
I grew up in a Boomer family so I was listening to Beatles albums right out of the crib but it wasn’t until I was an older adult that I realized the true genius and magic of the Beatles. I remember listening to “Rain” only about fifteen years ago like I was hearing it for the first time–one of their many songs that takes me out of myself and lets me rise above this world.
The Beatles are referenced throughout all of my novels. In Olive Branches Don’t Grow on Trees, Silvia listens to Revolver as she paints. In Discovery of an Eagle, Cosmo plays “Hey Jude” on the guitar while Silvia sings. The Bird that Sang in Color begins with Donna and Vincent listening to their final album, Let It Be. Enjoy the passage below!
From THE BIRD THAT SANG IN COLOR
“The Golden Garden Bird of Peace” were the words painted on the wall in Vincent’s room. I thought Dad would have painted over them because he couldn’t stand all that “hippie crap.” Beside the words hung a bunch of paintings he made. He painted trees, mountains, rivers, flowers, and people with real-life expressions that made them more than just pictures. They were alive, and they told stories.
Some of his paintings were abstract, my favorite being one that looked like a kaleidoscope with no beginning and no end and colors that bounced off the canvas like a beautiful neon sign sparkling against a black sky. I could stare at it all day. I went between staring at it and the album cover before me—Let It Be by the Beatles. Vincent sat by the record player, dressed in his usual Levi’s, T-shirt, and Converse high-tops, bent towards the revolving album, listening intently, his head of black curly hair moving back and forth, his right foot tapping the hardwood floor, keeping rhythm to the Fab Four.
Finally, he turned his head away from the stereo and said to me, “I can’t believe this is it.” His face was serious and gloomy, and I didn’t know what he was talking about, but I pretended that I did because I’d never let my cool down around Vincent. It was because of him that I knew so much about rock and roll, which made me pretty sure that I was the coolest eighth-grade girl in the whole town and possibly in the whole state of New Jersey.
“I know,” I said seriously.
“I mean, I just never thought the Beatles would break up.” He shook his head with disappointment.
“So, this is their last album, then?”
“Well, yeah,” he said, like I should have known better.