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  • Ari Esqueda

Surrendering

"Here comes the sun, doo-doo-doo-doo, here comes the sun

And I say it's all right."


Upon waking, these lyrics linger in the back of my mind. Even before I open my eyes, I'm smiling. The ghostly guitar strums and the hollow flute chimes as the music continues softly, playing across the synapses of my brain. "Here Comes the Sun" by George Harrison is one of those songs that sings to a deep level of my heart and soul. Whenever I hear it, even in the depths of anxiety and frustration, I feel connected and hopeful, and I can see the sun cresting over whatever challenging horizon lays ahead of me. It's magic. And I wonder how he was able to capture ideas and feelings so perfectly, and whether or not it was easy for him. A quick google search brings up an article, Harrison's original handwritten lyrics for "Here Comes the Sun" are going up for auction. And there are pictures. They're amazing, beautiful, and messy, with cramped scribbles and hastily scratched on random bits of faded and yellow pages. Brackets, dashes, and arrows were going every which way, along with circled notes, and random doodles. The struggle on the page looks familiar, and it doesn't look like a perfect embodiment of an enduring song; it seems more like a vague notion of an idea working its way into the world in patchy fits and spurts.


George Harrison's original handwritten lyrics for "Here Comes the Sun." From the article: "George Harrison’s Original Handwritten Lyrics for ‘Here Comes the Sun’" by Lee Thomas-Mason. Published Feb. 9th, 2020. Far Out Magazine. https://faroutmagazine.co.uk/george-harrison-original-handwritten-lyrics-here-comes-the-sun/

Here is the goliath obstacle when it comes to a creative project: no one has ever done it before. Of course, there are examples of something in the genre in which you are creating; there are novels, paintings, songs, and movies, from which you can gather inspiration. And with our current information-rich society, there are piles upon piles of resources that can help you learn techniques and strategies, such as writing workshops, film schools, or guitar lessons. When asked, people who have completed a creative task, most of the time, are more than happy to share their process with you. But your idea, your story, the music or image in your head, that is the thing that has no framework, no vocabulary, no manual, well at least hopefully; otherwise, you have more significant problems with your project. Getting that idea out of your head and into the world is not half the battle, it's not 90% perspiration or any other paltry adage, it is the war you wage against your mind and your abilities. With no right or wrong answers, no textbook, no mentor to hold your hand and guide you through, you just have to figure it out. And as a bonus, you have no control over how or when your brain is going to spit those ideas out nor if or when it will be able to connect them.


When Harrison wrote, "Here Comes the Sun," in 1969, he had already been part of and making music with The Beatles for over a decade. Needless to say, he knew how to write lyrics and music, and he knew how to play an array of instruments. But all the same, getting the idea out of his head required its own process.

If you are reading this in the hopes that I will have suggestions on the creative process or on how to accomplish such a feat as understanding the inner workings of your mind, I'm afraid you will have to seek such assurances elsewhere. I have no actual answers or definitive tips. However, what I suspect and have surmised from others is that there has to be a certain amount of surrender in the creative process, a certain willingness to be vulnerable. A resolve to follow a thought if even in the beginning it is only half-formed or seems absolutely ridiculous or illogical or just plain wrong. Embracing flaws and mistakes made during the process of creating also means you get to embrace the beautiful ideas that can also stem from them.


George Harrison wrote his iconic song when he was feeling frustrated with the corporate structure of being a Beatle when his creative life was feeling more like work, and he had even temporarily left the band. Instead of going to an important business meeting, he blew it off and spent the day bumming around Eric Clapton's garden. Logically, that seems like the wrong choice, pointless, and possibly even irresponsible. Yet, that choice led to something beautiful and enduring, something that has brought the world comfort and hope for 51 years. It is tempting when creating, to seek that optimal path, to always make those right choices, but there is something to be said for following ideas wherever they may lead, without judgment or even knowing exactly where they are going.


"Here comes the sun, doo-doo-doo-doo, here comes the sun

It's all right

It's all right."


-Ari E.

Creative Co-Director/Editor