words are my paint limits of reality change with each word & you move me like a song i open my mouth and i do not decide where my voice begins and when yours ends, or when the silence comes.
i believe in the quiet revolution the hum of the garden at tea time, the dance of rain on the rim of a pond, the fingers that pluck to the beat of the heart, the soul that bathes in the glow of a flicker of flame, the pen dipped in hot stroking ink bleeding trails on the page (two leaves of a book that forget their separation), pastel haystacks coloured fuzzy outside the lines, bristled lips on bristled lips after a tour at sea, salty-sweet flakes of the forbidden fruit a smudge on the cheek of Mona Lisa, the man in the moon in the mirror.
“The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.”
— Kurt Vonnegut, A Man Without a Country, 2005
a t h o u s a nd hours practice one pose arabesque a ballerina does what a robin is
Maybe it’s my own hang-up, but I haven’t played a live show for half a year. The buzzing world of a musician appears to constantly take the form of a life forever on the go. And maybe that scares me.
There’s a critic with my voice that lives in my head and he constantly reminds me how doubtful he is that I can make a career out of this thing called music. He lobbies evidence that my best moments are always in my bedroom, unrecorded and raw. And when I sit down to put pen to paper and write lines to a song, he so sourly grins as I forget just what I sang.
This world craves the musician who can stand boldly and authentically, delivering the gratification to those in sorrow. Or maybe it’s all in my head. But when I think about it on a day like today, the time away from the stage just seems to grow. A passion for playing music and singing from my heart seems to be overshadowed by the upkeep of daily practice. A fire that once sustained me, at times, now has me working to sustain it.
My vision of a “successful” artist is so warped. I sit down with a feeling that I want to translate into chords and then suddenly I’m contemplating having to deal with fame. No one who understands fame wishes it upon themself. And so I put my future on hold for another ten minutes, distracting myself with video games.
Inner turmoil has a funny way of manifesting. A loss of focus, absenteeism, an out-of-character outburst…all of these are simply cries for help. And I’m not really that twisted inside. I can sit in one spot and meditate; I come to class; I don’t even punch my pillow anymore. But sometimes, especially in winter, there is this apathy that I like to imagine is death’s silent hand in the balance of life. A moment of freefall over the crest of a hill in a car, about to hit ground. An animal at its end, accepts fate’s nudge.
There is a wish I have, to rise from my shell and slip away from my crumpled body; fly into the dark wintry night. Free from the burdens of flesh, the necessities and troubles of life. And into the cold, sit forever in the snow counting the stars.
Today I painted these two pictures:
I wish I could show you these as bitmaps, but unfortunately WordPress won’t accept it and I don’t know how to fudge the code. Click on the pictures for a bigger view. The second one gets you out of jail free.
pictures reflect me,
photographs silence me,
films move me,