Whenever I watch other people doing something that is a part of who I am, I get an intense and immediate urge to do it too. The first recollection I have of this feeling was when I was in high school and would go watch university-level volleyball games. Watching people who are stellar at what they do makes me want to do it all the more and all the better. I would sit and watch and imagine myself on the court with them, moving with them, dying a little inside because I couldn't actually get my hands on that ball.
So as I was driving the long drive back to Thunder Bay after the Winnipeg Folk Festival this week, I had the same tremendous urge to make music, to get my hands on some notes and some rhythms. Music has always been a part of me, but it always takes a back seat to things that I'm better 'known' for. Funny, because I still get that way about some sports sometimes too...but people have a hard time imagining that I was a serious jock in high school, so I just kind of laugh it off with them, and leave it to the pros and resume being the tree hugger (which is by definition non-jock) people see me as. As for the musician in me, I suppose having a solid handful of friends that are wonderful and super talented musicians makes it a little easier for me to leave the real music to them, and to disqualify my own desire to make music by calling it 'mucking around' or 'just for kicks'.
When I realized that even now, being what I consider to be entirely self-aware and free to be who I am and yada yada yada, I still very subtly compartmentalize myself into what I can and cannot do, or into what I think others expect me to be able to do or not do.
So I'm going to make music when I want to. Even if it's just mucking around. Even if my friends are pros and I'm still in musical adolescence. Even if it's not what I want to do for a living or for any particular reason at all for that matter. Just because the season is right, and I feel it in my bones.
So, to put my money where my mouth is, here is a song I wrote and recorded one afternoon in my living room, straight into my computer. A guitar, a plastic container, a christmas ornament with bells on it, and egg shaker, and my snappy fingers compliment the sound. It's ghetto, it's imbalanced, it's flawed...and I'm learning to not be afraid of that. It's just the way it should be. In fact, those same words might be used to describe me, so it fits nicely.
Even if you don't believe in God, or are unsure of where he fits into your life equation, this song holds truth that is unavoidable. When life gets too hot to handle, we often react by turning our eyes upwards and asking 'why?' and 'what now?'...often in frustration and usually as a last resort. We have the tools at our fingertips to navigate these rough patches, but we often don't trust that we do. It's much simpler than we make it out to be. So, without further ado, here is my ghetto little poppy gospel song:
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