I have a few things I think about when I need to get distance again. I think about a surface of a pool, you know, like a tidal pool, or a very still pond with ripples on it, and I try to imagine that. And sometimes I think of a glacial plain, a sort of blue ice color. Sometimes I try to think of my heart or my center becoming hard, cold and hard.
Well, I think "great art" is a pompous phrase. To me, that's a little tough to swallow and it's tough to spit out, too. I think Sam Cooke singing "I Taught My Baby How to Cha Cha Cha" is a terrific song, but you'd have a hard time calling it great art.
I consciously have tried to steal a couple of Ray Charles' phrases. If we listened to a show, I could point out a couple of points where it was like that. I could point out what I consider to be a Jackson Browne phrase without consciously trying to steal . . . Yeah, sure I try to; I consciously try to take a lot of things that I really admire.
And I find it a lot healthier for me to be someplace where I can go outside in my bare feet.
I'm into the nuclear thing because it's so clearly insane. The problem for me is to become politically active: I'm not a scientist and I'm not a politician and I'm not an economist; I'm not a student of social trends. My credentials are only as a musician who entertains people.
I did a lot of psychoanalysis or psychotherapy, you know. And everybody has the blues -- that's what it comes down to.
I have a few personal ideas having to do with my family situation and things like that. But in fact I can't really explain it away very well. I'm still subject to it from time to time. Sort of like unexplainable onsets of black moods. But I've grown used to it and know how to deal with them.
It starts with just not feeling terribly well. But there's a type of despair that I experience as being very deep.
As difficult as it is for us both to be in the same business, there's the benefit of our really understanding and being able to support each other. 'Cause we really know about it. When I find her being worried about something that's really bullshit, I can, with real authority, tell her that she's worrying about something that doesn't deserve her attention. And she's the same way, too.
It's hard for me to talk about Joni because I still feel very strongly about her. I saw her recently, and she and I spent a little time talking. Not to get into what our personal relationship was like, but I've never seen anyone create the way she does. An aspect of that leaves another side of her life lacking. She, more than I, I think, has a need for creativity, for her art. More of a need to relieve herself, to satisfy herself, than almost anyone else I've ever met.
If I could get some kind of a hold on myself, I could be able to direct this capacity I have to share my point of view with other people. A song can do incredible things incredibly fast.