“How’s your writing going?” someone asked me today. She was referring to my songwriting. I was flattered like anybody is when someone is interested in what we do.
“It’s going great!” I confidently shot back. And in truth, it is. This person is a musician also (in a professional orchestra) and was in town for rehearsals and shows.
sidenote: this took place after a Zumba class where Mary will often play my songs for the cool down at the end of classes.
I explained further that I am fortunate to work on it everyday — albeit and hour here, 2 hours there, 30 minutes there.
I went further and shared that I’d made a decision many years ago that no matter what the world said or didn’t say in regard to my music didn’t matter.
“I don’t need the world’s permission to be an artist!” I said.
She agreed. Then she said, “ but it must be so hard. I mean everybody here loves your music and appreciates it, but there’s so much competition (and noise!)”
I replied “true, but that’s how I know that there are people who will genuinely appreciate my music. It’s up to me to find more of them somehow.”
Being An Artist…
This brief conversation got me reflecting on my decisions a bit. And I decided to write about it here.
I know I’ve talked before about being at the “crossroads.” And it wasn’t to make a deal with the devil, it was feeling frustrated with being a musician.
Having a calling can be a double edged sword. A blessing or a curse depending upon how you look at it.
And the view can change dynamically in real time as your life unfolds and depending upon context.
It also depends a great deal upon how you’ve integrated the lessons involved.
By lessons I mean there’s a wild untamed spirit inside of us all. We get socialized. I have nothing against society. There are many benefits to being a member.
But I realize that I’ve never allowed my wild spirit to be completley squandered. By wild spirit I’m not talking about having issues with authority and rebelling (been there, done that!) .
How I Managed To Do This Despite The Best Efforts Of Others Is Revealed Below…
It’s useful to be able to use the various personas and masks that we all develop in order to interact with society.
I just never completely bought into them. I almost have at times. But fortunately for me, I always managed to escape at the last minute.
I’m finally beginning to learn and assimilate how to be true to myself and also contribute to society and the lives of others at the same time.
Most of us are unbalanced on one side or the other. Many people sacrifice themselves and then end up resenting or being cynical. It’s not easy — no one gets taught these things in school, that’s for sure! Of course, it’s the opposite.
Beginners In Love
You could say that society and relationships were first designed for survival. But we all know that Life is more than mere survival. “Work to get money to buy food to get strength to work to get money to buy food to get strength…”
But after thousands of years, humans in general seem to be at a crossroads. One where relationships are chosen for a sense of connection and intimacy. A synergy between the partners.
I’ve seen this type of relationship coined a “vital” relationship.
And this synergy can expand into the community and into the world.
So we’re all beginners in this expansion together. It’s pretty cool do this dance. Is there one word I could use to say what method I personally used? Yes. Love.
If you read this far, keep the fires of love for yourself and Life burning. Whatever it takes, do this! This creates an alchemy of character and soul that no science can ever explain.
Nothing in the world will ever be able to hurt you.