Friday, January 8, 2010

Trouble With The Grey

"This will never work out. You're black and white and I'm all shades of grey."

Great breakup line, eh? Handed to me by a fellow artist in my senior year of college, the colorless phrase was perhaps a bit too perfect but said it all. I've always had difficulty navigating life's muddy waters.

Monday morning wakes me up to yet another dreary week.
It'll come and go like every one before.
There's enough to keep me busy but my interest isn't piqued.
Frankly dear, it's all become a crashing bore.

I wrote those words several years ago for the first verse of a song called "Trouble With the Grey". The chorus continues:

No one calls me on the telephone.
If they did, what would I say?
The highs and lows don't get you down,
It's what happens every day.
I'm having some trouble with the grey.

Ain't it the truth, ain't it the truth. We rise to the occasion in the most extraordinary situations, but can be unraveled by a Monday. I rode my parents' waves of dementia, macular degeneration, spinal stenosis and cancer for nearly six years and now I'm beached. "What's wrong with the beach you ask?" As tranquil as any place on earth, it's a nightmare if you're stuck there with sand in your pants. I'm stuck and I'm afraid to check my pants.

Momma told me I'd be someone,
But she didn't mention who.
Said there wasn't any place I couldn't go.
I could climb the highest mountain,
Sail across the ocean blue.
But instead, I'm sitting here on my plateau.

My mother did tell me I'd be someone. Her exact words, delivered during one of my frequent scream fests, were, "You know Joan, you should be on the stage." Perhaps my interpretation of that phrase is a bit loose, but she was always in my corner and, if not supportive, tolerant of the wackiest of my endeavors. I suppose I should "get my ass in gear", as she would say, and pick a passion and have at it. Said ass does not slip into gear as easily as the younger version, but I will remind myself that I'm not dead yet.

Gonna roll out my red carpet
Chase away these sorry blues
With the brightest palate you have ever seen.
Won't my friends be tickled pink
By all the colors that I choose
If they haven't turned a lovely shade of green?

Shortly after Dad passed away, I said to a friend,"Shit, now with my parents gone, I'm going to have to make an effort to get some sort of life." Hardly an epiphany worthy of Oprah (or even Judge Judy), but it's one I'd like to remember.

You can try me on the telephone
But I might be on my way.                                                                                                               
The highs and lows don't get you down
It's what happens every day.
I'm having some trouble with the grey.

"Too Blue" is currently in the studio, recording their latest CD which includes "Trouble With the Grey" by Joan Harrison. Details on the release will be posted here and on


  1. I love it. I love the commentary too along the way. I would love to hear it upon completion.

  2. A great read. You do have a way with words. And so nice to read about what I can relate to, thanks!