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Desperately Seeking Obsessions

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 There will never be another Madonna, but there have been other artists and books and shows and movies have inspired me over the years. Shirley Horn, James and even Lady Gaga have sounded over my stereo. Sunset Boulevard, Wicked, Cabaret and Grey Gardens have strutted on stages before my eyes. Edith Wharton, Gregory Maguire, Jane Hamilton and F. Scott Fitzgerald have roped me in with their words. Bette Davis, Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman and Rosalind Russell have all mesmerized me with their screen presence. Tom Ford, David Beckham, Ben Cohen and Zac Efron have offered sweet-smelling fashion and delectable eye candy.

At one stage or another these entities have been an obsession for me, and my life has, sometimes for better and sometimes for worse, revolved around each of them for a bit. Mostly it’s been a good thing. We are always enriched by those we admire. Lately, however, I find muses in short supply. I can’t tell if it’s a dearth in fascinating people or works, or the advance of age and a Big Chill phenomenon wherein I simply don’t get excited over things as much as I once did.

I‘ve noticed it most glaringly in music. Once upon a time I’d hear a certain song and have to play the devil out of it. Family, friends and one very patient husband would be subject to repeated listens at all times of the day and night, until they knew it as well as I did. I’d send out CD singles of it with the lyrics written out and implore everyone I knew to listen to it. (‘You Must Love Me’ indeed.) It still happens on occasion (hello ‘Rebel Heart’) but now it’s about once or twice a year. The same goes for books and movies and musicals. Fewer and fewer of them inspire me. Even Tom Ford cologne has faded. Everything feels muted, less exciting.

Maybe it’s the lull as we go into the darker seasons. It’s hard to get very thrilled about anything when it’s pitch black when you wake up (and soon when I get out of work). Or maybe it is a blunting and deadening of my senses as I get older. Maybe it’s even the technological availability of all sorts of sensory overload. All I know is that I need a new obsession. Any suggestions?

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