This City Isn't Ours
As per usual, quick announcements:
1) I was in a fantastic film with the Ray Sisters (@raysistersfilm on insta) and I am so proud to share this with you: https://vimeo.com/292914969
2) I have two FREE upcoming gigs in L.A. this week at venues I haven’t played before (hurrah!) with a lot of brand new songs. If you haven’t been out in a while (or ever!) to one of my shows and you live in the area, support your local music venues (and artists!) and come out and say hello!
November 1: Kulak’s Wood at 8 pm. I’ll be joining my rockin’ buddy Wyatt Brewer from Kansas City.
**Also, November 1 happens to be one of my favorite days of the year. I really enjoy Halloween, but I always feel a sense of relief when it’s passed. So come join me in a little sense of calm after the storm.
November 2: Tribal Café at 7:30 pm. I’ll be with two friends, Wyatt Brewerand Terry Okey so it’ll be a whole night of music!
Now onto some philosophical ramblings…
It’s smog and pollution and all of those things that city life brings. You forget that it’s desert here. The city will do that—we will do that. We get so attached to our creations that we forget that they are on top of something deeper, something ancient and rooted. We build our cities but ultimately they belong to the earth and sky and mountains and not to us, nor to the concrete poured over it or the rubber soles and click-clack of the high powered heels which tread over that. No, at the end of it all, the city will be reclaimed by the earth and it will be wild, windswept, beautiful and dangerous. And it is a certain grace that this world has had the patience with us to let us live out our lives and stake claim to our creations.
That doesn’t make us irrelevant, though.
I was having a drink with a friend of mine the other day and we were discussing the nature of creativity (as, of course, two artists a few whiskey cocktails in are likely to do in a venue reeking of fading Hollywood glamour) and we ultimately got on the topic of creativity as external or internally derived. That seems to be the big debate among artists. Does inspiration, “gifts”, are they from within or are they from somewhere outside ourselves? Are we strong individuals who should forge our own manifest destinies or are we but humble servants, replaceable, unimportant but for our role as vector in the larger ecosystem?
I believe that creativity comes from out there, in the world and we who listen get to be the fortunate conduits for something that needs to be said. But! I don’t believe that we don’t leave our footprint on what comes out into the world through us. Not just by nature of showing up or listening or the practice we put in for whatever our craft is. I think each creation takes a piece of us, our souls, with it when it is filtered through us. If creativity is like light, then we are a lens and when the light pours through us onto the ground, it bleeds blue, red, green, or yellow. Whatever we are.
And yes, one day, when we put it out to other people, the creation will no longer be ours, it will be reclaimed by the world, but we will still be a part of it. Our hearts, our minds, our eyes they still are woven into it. Even when the weeds wind their way up through our cracks and stretch back toward that wild sky and people forget the name that goes with the voice, we will still be in there. We will return, bones and blood, to the earth which bred us and the creations bred through us, but our lives and intentions and connections will have mattered, by nature of being a lens. So, let us always remember to let the light run through us.
And, if we must be a lens, let us be a god damn kaleidoscope.
Shine on my friends, family, and loved ones,