Thursday, February 19, 2009

What Repells Us From Our Creative Passions?

So what is it that keeps my beloved Taylor from getting the love it deserves? It was like the birth of a child when I was able to afford this lucious guitar. My fingers were well worn, I changed the strings every couple months because I was playing them so much they became dull. I was in the studio recording songs like a madman... What's changed?

Kids? But that's no excuse. Work? And while that's a pretty good one, it does not hold at the moment while I have a breather to ponder my next move. Energy? Nope, I'm as boyant as ever, rising early staying up late and catching a nap in the middle if the day affords it. Inspiration? Perhaps, but that's not a very good reason. If we paused our creative production to wait on inspiration or "muse" we would be silent much of the time. Joy? Health? Time? Nope, all good on those too.

But something bigger keeps us from singing our song. Something that goes beyond the fact that my Taylor is STILL DUSTY now in Feb. 09! The only thing that even comes close, that is big enough to repell my spirit is fear.

That's got to be it. I would be guessing, because I am not conscious of being afraid of failure or embarrassment at the moment. But I have always had the artistic repulsion from my "studio, journal, practice" what ever it is, when I have not be in the "mode," when I have not been doing it. So if I just DO IT, will I do it more?

I am full of inspiration and expression of thought. I am beating the crud out of the RockBand drums. I am as happy as I have ever been. [That alone is quite a statement!] But I am also content. In a zen way, I am not urgently needing to express anything. I don't have a broken love story to tell, I am quite elated with where I am in my marriage. I could write about job angst, except for the moment even that has passed.

But something is holding that Taylor just a few feet from my hands and keeping it there. I brought it out of it's case back in July when I wanted to propel my fingers into action. And since then I have picked it up and plucked a couple of times. And my kids, who are not used to hearing me play and sing, were quite supportive and excited to hear me playing. But it didn't sound as good as I liked. I didn't remember the songs that were so fluid in my soul. The guitar was hard to tune, because the strings were so old and dull. And I did not have the burning desire to continue. So in a zen world I would say I am content.

Back a number of years I was playing a festival in Los Angeles with my band Buzzie and a girl in the car asked a question. "So is it better to be content with your life. Or is it better to be intent and striving for more."

I believe Michael Carpenter, from Australia, who was playing on stage with me said, "Striving, definitely. Endlessly striving for the next song, the next note or tone. Striving to express myself."

When it was obviously my turn to talk I said, "I don't know. I am very content right now with my wife and kids and regular life back in Austin. And I am also aware of my lack of striving at this festival. I am happy to be here and all, but I am also missing my ordinary life back home. So I would have to say, content. But that's not very good for my musician cred or my productivity."

"No," she said. "I can see that in you."

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