Michaeline: Under Pressure

two people in pressure suits showing oxygen tanks.

Under pressure, we use a lot of weird defense mechanisms, but the best one is often the old-fashioned one: love. That, and remember to breathe!

End of February, shortest month of the year, and one of the most stressful times in Japan. Everyone is under pressure. It’s smack in the middle of exam season, and for my daughter, the really important one is coming up next week. Kids are graduating in a few weeks, people are moving. Everything turns over between March 31 and April 1, but now is the darkness before the dawn. Nobody knows anything except “maybe.”


(a mashup of concert footage from Queen and David Bowie at the Freddie Mercury tribute concert; the mix is pretty close to the classic Queen/Bowie song, the description says)

It’s like the beginning of the third act in a novel.

This year, I rediscovered the Queen/David Bowie song, “Under Pressure”. If you are American, you may have to listen to it a half dozen times to wipe out the memory of Vanilla Ice’s self-centered, sample-inspired hit. But it’s well worth the effort. Pressure is terrible, but it can shape and form us in unexpected and sometimes lucky ways. As the song says, “Keep coming back to love, but it’s so slashed and torn.” But still, it’s the best thing we’ve got going.

Let’s give love one more chance. Love for our families, love for our friends, love for our work, no matter how many forms that work takes. Take care of ourselves. Under pressure.

Now go out there and write some love.

6 thoughts on “Michaeline: Under Pressure

    • Random tangent: A lot of modern literature (and music) is about our isolation from other people, and a lot of crap just ends there. We were born alone, we will die alone. But there are romantics who keep coming back to love as the main reason life is worth living. Hail the romantics!

  1. Love this, Michaeline! Now I’m off to write my 8L post for tomorrow, and then it’s back to my new WIP, where both my main characters need to give love one more chance. I just started compiling a playlist for them, and unusually for me I already had two Queen songs (Another One Bites the Dust and I Want to Break Free). I’m going to add ‘Under Pressure.’

    • Queen is so good at fighting music. Not “fight indiscriminately” but “fight for love.” “Under Pressure” has been one of my top ten earbugs this month, and it’s helped me so much to understand a few things about writing.

  2. I love this, too, Michaeline. Writing love–writing love for your characters to share, and loving your writing while you’re doing it. I’m going to practice that. To embracing it all, even the warts of it.

    • (-: And loving your readers. It’s so easy to concentrate on negatives — I think we may be wired that way. But, there is also so much to love.

      (-: Gosh, I’m mushy today. But I kind of like being soft and fuzzy rather than hard and edgy. Hard and edgy can wait until the weather is better.

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