Note by Note: Messy Girl | No. 16 | 6.5.19

How messy are you? 

Me? A whole bunch. 

I distinctly remember the image that prompted Messy Girl. As I opened the rear door of my minivan, I surveyed the slew of dried-up snack fragments, mismatched sports equipment, miscellaneous papers, a rogue sock or two….and I knew dust bunnies ran amok and laundry baskets overflowed at home. 

I have a messy house and a messy mind 
I drive a messy car; I lead a messy life 
With a messy dog in this messy world 
I have a messy bed, I’m a messy, messy, messy girl 

Some of this was due, of course, to the condition known as Parenting Young Children. But now that I’ve tamed the dust bunnies and traded in the van with seatbelts gummed up by raisins, there’s still a larger issue: my messy mind. As many of you know, the creative mind is a messy one.  Boxes of lyric ideas, piles of songs and instruments to learn, and notebooks of project ideas and to-do lists await. 

In truth, everyone’s life is messy, no matter what your bent. No one’s life follows an exact plan. While some of us are more comfortable with the muck, there’s always more to do than we can accomplish in a day, more things to read and watch, more people to meet, more places to visit, more help to give than is possible. 

As I constantly seek new opportunities and a full calendar, I hear the whisper of Pulitzer-prize winning poet Mary Oliver: “What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” 

Clarity is the antidote. Clarity is a gift. 

Do you know what brings you joy? Do you pause enough to reflect on the wonders of your past and the beauty around you? Where are you heading? 

Since time is certainly finite, be sure to figure out how you create meaning. Gather it and give it away. 

I want to come clean with you

P.S. This is the jazziest song I’ve ever recorded or sung. And truth in advertising—those aren’t dishes in my sink. I’m not quite that messy.


Joy Zimmerman's soulful vocals and original music dance effortlessly from poignant to hilarious to compelling to joyful -- round-trip guaranteed! With folk rock as a springboard, Joy dives into the everyday and the extraordinary. A traveling musician based in Kansas City, Joy is a voice of authenticity, hope and joy. 

Joy's songwriting awards include an American Songwriter Lyric Contest Honorable Mention and eight Walnut Valley Festival NewSong Showcase wins. She has recorded six albums - three in Nashville and three in Kansas City. Joy released To the Girl, her sixth album of original music in April 2019.

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