Today I am sitting by the Mississippi River here in Memphis.My car is in the shop, AGAIN.I have been gifted with unexpected time to think, pray, and write on a stunning early September morning.What comes to me sitting here is that we all have a purpose in our lives to fulfill, whether it be great or small, and there is no getting out of it.We can plead, cajole, distract ourselves, make excuses, run, curse or swear but there is no getting out of it.No joke.When we do, something(usually an event or circumstance) puts it back in our face.
For me right now, there is a sense of going for broke, giving everything, and stepping out into the unknown with no guarantees.I have avoided it but there is no getting away from it.It looms around every corner.There is a time when nothing matters but going for it whatever that “it” may be.In my case, I believe that thing would be music.As far as I am concerned that is proof that God has a sense of humor because of all the years I have been playing, it is possibly the least successful thing I have ever done.I am blinking back tears as I write this because of a the frustration and disappointment I have endured as a result of pursuing it.What some may see as a gift many times, for me has seemed like more of a curse and/or an albatross hanging around my neck that is holding me back from other things I could be doing.
Sometimes when we feel blocked or stuck, it is important to do some detective work.When something seems like a burden instead of a blessing you have to ask why.For one thing, I can see that I have probably harbored a certain amount of cynicism about the whole thing.Over the years, I have seen friends and fellow bandmates come and go.Some went on to get “real” jobs, marry, start families, or further their education.There is nothing wrong with that if it is born out of sincere desire and not a sense of defeat.Others have gotten caught up in heavy drinking and drugs seemingly as a result of the “lifestyle”.These are other people’s choices and not mine.Why does it affect me? Maybe I have to admit that, for what ever reason, it does.Yeah, I do wonder what it would be like to have a family, an established career with a steady income, and nicer “things”.I wish it was as simple bottoming out and admitting I had a substance abuse problem so I could be helped.What do I need to do to get help or make things right?What’s my answer? As I write this, I hear in my head
The answer is more cowbell
That is silly but it gets the point across.When I am singing, playing, or writing music, I feel most alive.That is where it has to begin.I have to go back to what is energizing and focus on that.I can’t figure out all the rest.Go with what is living and not what is dead.