If you were a child, or raising children between the 70's and 90's, there's a good chance you are acquainted with Don Music, a recurring character on Sesame Street.
Don is a composer, an artiste, who regularly appears at his piano, working through the songwriting process. In one sketch, he is writing a song about a girl named Mary and her little lamb, and can't find a word to rhyme with "snow". In another, he gets to the end of the first bar of the ABC's, and can't come up with the right letter to follow F. Rather than work through his writer's block with a brisk walk, call a friend, or scroll Instagram, he slams his head on his piano in abject defeat, wailing, "I'll never get it! Never! Never!!"
I have Don Music moments every week, if not every day. Are my fellow Don Musics out there? Are you too, routinely experiencing the end of the world because of your flaws as a human being? Do you too, weather perennial episodes of acute suffering because of your failure to ever get it right?
And when you are the throes of a Don Music Episode, body thrashed, forehead bloody, are you able to remember that Don always figures something out? So, yoursong about a boatturns into a tune about a car. Or, you labor over the perfect instagram post, and forget to paste the caption. Or, you scale up production for Boat Sauce, but wind up making a pizza sauce in the process.
Every day brings new defeats, and just when it can't get more sisyphean, a fresh triumph blossoms: a fan letter, a new store, a f*ckng great sandwich.
Here's a call to celebrate our inner Dons. Don might be screwing up all the time, but he’s fighting the good fight. Making stuff and trying stuff with curiosity and passion, along with a generous doses of raw emotion and dramatic flourish. I love Don. I am Don. Maybe you're Don too, and we'll never get it, never, never. And yet, we must eternally heed our muse.