Cursed Arrows

Cursed Arrows
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Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Blood

Happy New Year, everyone.

It has been a long time since I attempted to articulate anything of importance in any mass medium, but every time I do it fires back karmically so I might as well.  There is nothing but truth and light in me most of the time.  Expelling your demons through the written word, song, dance, film, conversation, insinuation or stimulation is always going to backfire somehow.  You can't throw a hat at a horse without him bucking back out of the way and kicking dust up in your face.  

Two years ago I was in the throes of self-realization.  The labour pains of real artistic expression.  My earliest outputs as a child were little songs, much like any other little child's songs; dark, melodic, innocent.  Once my brother and I had a tape recorder the ditties multiplied, tiny Dylan and Ginsberg collaborations in children's voices.   Born 10 days apart, we sang, the songs slipping like mercury into the abyss of stolen memories, tapes in the trash, inspiration brushed under the rug for the first time.  Two years ago I was riding high on the ecstasy of mastering a physical feat and a mental one - performing on drums.  I wanted to be a drummer since I first heard Keith Moon on my father's car tape deck when I was 8.  I wanted to be a man but didn't know it yet.   A woman doing a man's work is often called a man.  The question is, what really is a man's work?  There are genetic and cosmic answers to that one that I will not delve into at this time.  I took two decades just to begin looking for those answers.  

I heard this drumming and continued listening but never spoke of it again until high school.  I had some nice creative friends who encouraged me and somehow I got derailed onto acoustic guitar, a drum for the fingers and the soul.  During my finest summer of punk rock excess - maybe it was 10 years ago - as I coasted on separation anxiety and psychedelic candy and far too much beer, I spoke of it again.  This time, it had an effect.  I had friends in bands and I was an avid supporter of real artists, especially the ones I met personally; I could not turn my back on them.  They were for me alone to bolster, as I saw their struggles as clearly as their gains.  As clearly as my favourite drummers' sinewy movements translated into beautiful music, I saw my favourite songwriters' pain, deep and often successfully buried beneath years of empty promises.  I knew that pain, all twisted up in my heart.  It mirrored and mingled with my own.  They gave me chances and encouragement, the likes of which I had never foreseen.  I was used to working against the grain, pushing everybody's fur the wrong way and combing my hair upside-down.   My hunger for art became so strong during that decade that I left everything and everyone I knew behind to search for what I knew I was missing - everything and everyone I knew and loved.

Throughout it all I have written, pen on paper, and have maintained and distilled every word I've ever expressed in ink.  During school, I was 'the writer' in the 99th percentile.  The alto who could always sing on pitch.  My teachers never let me down - only vice versa - and I have nothing but deep gratitude for their insight, the look in their eyes when they told me I was special, and I believed them.  In my youth it was their stimulation combined with my family life that made me who I am - a quiet, haunted person who loves, and loves to write and sing and play instruments.  By the time my rock'n'roll lifestyle came into being I was awash in notebooks full of rhythmically perfect poetry without much worldly insight.  I was on the cusp of something but hadn't matured enough yet to let it out in front of an audience.  I had the opportunities and the friendships to support it, but I couldn't get up onstage - it was the ultimate anxiety.  School was left behind in favour of a post-secondary study of faith in art.  Not until I met and vowed to partner with the most artistically advanced and spiritually talented person I had met did I find my way into the conduit.  Together we created, my words finding their homes in someone else's music, and my manual dexterity lending itself to something important, greater than me.

Two years ago I began to hear my own voice - literally and figuratively - for the first time.  I would sit alone for weeks or months on end, singing, writing, playing guitar, and hearing every little bit of myself.  Astonishing myself and feeling that child-like awe that is so elusive to adults, and so wondrous.  Yes, I had begun to master the rhythm of performance in front of an audience, but this was different.  Singular.  My partnership became both stronger and intentionally less central to my universe.  My connection to some great force of energy, unseen and given many names,  intensified.   I had become a songwriter.  It was a mostly logical advancement, but by no means anti-climactic.  It was huge.  This was that energy I felt when I heard that music in the car as a child, that driving blues, that darkness masked in so much light, that light comprised of real pure truth.  Just guttural sounds swirling about in a beauteous way, anchored by poetry of the heart.  My life became a series of rhythms that - to this day - I still cannot fully predict or control.  Some of them are universal, too powerful to argue with, and strong enough to sweep you up and carry you away if you open your mind wide.  

1 comment:

Tyler Savage said...

Heard I missed you last night in london. Miss seeing you guys in Kitchener-Waterloo