Wednesday, June 12, 2013

who am I, again?

I’ve been in a good place for a while now, so this was bound to happen. Most days I’ve got enough optimism to look on the bright side of everything, enough faith to believe good things are coming even if I don’t yet see them, enough energy to work towards my goals, and enough perseverance not to stop until I reach them.

Then there are days like today.

Every once in a while I want to take my toys and go home, leave the proverbial sandbox and go sit in a corner and cry for a while for all the ways in which I think I’ve failed miserably, for the seeming futility of big dreams, and for what might, despite my best efforts, never happen. It is a dark place I go unexpectedly, and so it catches me off-guard when I find myself there.

I don’t imagine that most people can understand this. It is a peculiar life that writers and artists lead. While I can’t speak for all of us, I think it would be safe to say that most of us have a heightened sensitivity to human suffering and an insatiable longing to fill a perceived void within ourselves. That the void doesn’t really exist and that the suffering is not ours alone to bear is not really the point. Perception is everything.

So there I sat, aware that I’m usually the one cheering everybody else up when they’re in this place, but unable to do it for myself. That’s what we have friends for – to remind us who we are when we’ve momentarily forgotten.

Anyone who has ever taken a blank piece of paper and made something out of it, whether it is the great American novel, the Mona Lisa, or a paper airplane has honored some part of their spirit longing for expression. It is never the logical, rational, or even wise thing to do by the world’s standards, but for those of us who create, it is the only thing to do, the only choice there is.

I have wanted to record a CD of my inspirational songs for many years. And at the start of 2013, I declared that this was the year for it to come to fruition. But as we are approaching the halfway mark of 2013, I must admit, all the reasons not to do it seem far more prudent than the ones to do it. Oh, I never said I’d given up, but the truth is I had.

Funny thing about that, though - because I had already engaged other people in my vision and had started planning, working, setting all the wheels in motion, when I got to my “I’m gonna give up, cause what’s the point of it” funk, my friend, Tanya told me, kind of in no uncertain terms, I might add, that she wasn’t going to let me give up on me.

She used irrefutable logic like: Do you really want to be on your deathbed saying, “I should’ve made that fucking album?” Who could argue with that kind of reasoning?

So instead of continuing my tearful wallowing, I went through my list of prospective songs for the project. I recorded work tapes of them, even finding one I really liked that I’d forgotten I’d written. I began thinking about what I need to hear that I haven’t yet said and what holes need to be filled in terms of tempo, meter, and subject.

I can’t say I didn’t shed a tear the rest of the day. But I can say that I moved in the direction of my heart’s desire anyway. I just needed a reminder that following my passion and purpose will never be something I’ll regret at the end of my days. But not following it, on the other hand...

Days like this one pass, as do the feelings that accompany them. But they serve a purpose. They are a chance to choose consciously the path well worn or the one we forge ourselves.

Possibility lives in the not knowing. Are we willing to go there? The terrifying thing is anything can happen. And the great thing is...anything can happen.

Thanks for stopping by. Please tell your friends.

And big, fat hugs to my friends for being the stellar examples of what I’ve done so very right.

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