I just finished the fifth edit of Orville Mouse and the Capricious Shadows, so I thought I’d take a break from writing and write something. See how I did that? Clever. Anyway, last summer, my son, a marvelous musician and an engineer in NYC, came back home to Alaska for a couple of weeks. We were out at our cabin on Big Lake (it’s big, it’s a lake) sitting around playing guitar (or trying to) when he started making up funny songs. The lyrics to one of them was, “If Hagrid was a lady, he’d be you, if Hagrid was a lady, he’d be you. If Hagrid was a lady, if Hagrid was a lady, if Hagrid was a lady he’d be you.” Each new verse was the same but with different Harry Potter characters. Grandkids were laughing their brains out. So much fun. The best. Five months later I decided I’d learn to play the Hagrid song on the guitar, impress the grandkids. I’m getting there, hold on. The tune was familiar. Really familiar, but all I could think of was the Hagrid lyrics. I couldn’t remember the real lyrics, so I couldn’t look it up online to get the chords. Arghh. Drat. A few days went by and I still couldn’t remember it. I decided to email my son, then changed my mind. I was going to remember it on my own. No matter what. Two days later I’m walking out of my bedroom and the words “If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands” popped into my head out of nowhere. AAAGGGHH!!! THAT’S IT!! THAT’S THE SONG!” But wait, there’s more, for only $19.95 we’ll send you– oops, took a wrong turn there. In the book I’m writing now, Orville Mouse and the Puzzle of the Capricious Shadows, a character named Mendacium the Dark Wizard tells Orville that all of the great questions in life at first blush appear to be simple ones with simple answers. But of course, they’re not. Everyone has experienced what I did with the name of the song. You can’t remember something, you let it go, a few hours (or weeks) later it pops into your head. We’ve all done it. What up with that? Why does that happen? How does that happen? One of the themes running through my books is the idea that we have an inner self, an inner voice we can listen to if we stop talking and pay attention to it. It has plenty of other names – our unconscious, our spirit, our soul, the collective unconscious, universal consciousness, and on and on and on. I don’t like to use those words. Too much baggage goes along with them. Imagine your inner self lives at the bottom of a very big well. You have a bucket on a rope that you lower into the well with a note in it. “What’s the name of that song by the Beatles, the one about the submarine?” Pull up the bucket. “You mean the Yellow Submarine?” “That’s it, thanks.” What happens when you pull up the bucket and it’s empty? “Hey, I asked you a question! What’s that name of that song?” The louder you yell, the less likely you are to get an answer. So you send down a little card with daisies on it, saying, “No rush at all on that question, take as long long you need, just drop me a line if you do happen to find it. Thanks so much, Me.” A while later the answer is in the bucket. Nope, that’s not the end of the blog. But I will say that same approach works very well if you’re asking a clerk in a store to help you. Here’s the real question, though. Just to mix metaphors a bit, how many times have you heard a clerk say, “I’ll check in the back of the store and see if we have one.” The back of the store. The place you never get to go. The place where they keep all the cool stuff. Just like the bottom of the well. Your inner self poked around and found the name of that song you were looking for, but what else does he have stashed away down there? The names of all the kids you went to kindergarten with? I’ve had dreams where I’m talking to people I barely knew in grade school. Where did that come from? What else you got stashed away down there, inner self? There are those who say that every moment we experience in our life on this lovely planet is stored down in that well, wrapped and tagged in little matching decorative boxes. Okay, that last part they don’t say, I just made that up. Then you have to ask, “Why? Why would all that stuff be stashed away down there? What’s the point? What’s it for?” And that question opens up about five hundred new rabbit holes you can go down. I did that on purpose. Rabbit holes. Funny. Bartholomew. I guess the whole point of this post is you never know where a funny little song called “If Hagrid was a lady he’d be you” will take you. Question everything and see where it takes you.