One of the great gifts of this time is that I am getting out from under the weight of some heavy mentality; I can’t be a lot more specific, but I’m losing some voices in my life– mostly in my own head – that have been holding me back. For a long time. With my permission, my acquiescence.
That’s over. There is some serious loss there, and I’m feeling it. But I’m also liberated, in a way that I haven’t been before. And I can thank this historic event for that.
My goals for this blog have been many, and it’s not just about the blog. It’s about what I’ve been wanting to put out into the world. At any moment, there are a number of ways to go, things to emphasize, details to focus on. For all of us. I have more than the average bear, I think, because I do a number of different things – write, speak, sing – and how I approach them differs, depending on the day, my mood, and…those voices in my head. Telling me things, usually negative things.
And I’m realizing how much I listen to those voices – usually but not always assigned to particular people in my life, with whom I have complicated relationships. But all, of course, in my head. But based on past experiences, and fears, and anxieties.
Yeah, it’s complicated.
But here’s what’s NOT complicated: I want to speak, I want to play, I want to entertain. I want to do it well, I want people to like it. But mostly, I want it to be USEFUL – for my audience, whoever that ends up becoming, and for myself, as a way of growing and learning through this experience.
So I’ve had a week of talking seriously about what’s happening, recognizing the difficulties ahead, acknowledging the pain and even horror that is heading our way, the epic size of it all, and the fact that a lot of people I know are going to suffer.
But I can’t live in that. I don’t want to live in that. And I’d like to offer a respite from that, grounded in reality, not blindly ignoring what’s happening, but offering relief. There will still be many ways to be joyful in the year ahead. There will still be pleasures, though different than in our recent past. There will be connections with other people, if without the touch. There will be laughs. There will be music.
THAT is where I want to live. I’m in an unfinished attic in a warehouse in a desolate part of my hometown, which I left nearly 10 years ago. The city I went to, New York, is in a worse crisis even than 9/11. I’m with two friends, friends good enough to take me in for an unlimited duration; but we’re surrounded by homeless people and not much else. There’s barely any green outside, and no windows in my attic.
It could be grim, but it’s not. It’s the place where I’m finally forced to face a number of things I’ve been dancing around, participating in when it suited me, but not fully committing to.
Now, I’m committing. I’ve started this blog, that’s going to happen every day. I’m making videos, and I will get better at that. I’m going to start a podcast. I’ve launched my website music1967.com, a great place to escape into history and music, two of my greatest pleasures. I can still ride my bike by the nearby river. I can still exercise in my big attic. And I can communicate with the outside world, with YOU, every day.
What do I want to say? I want to offer ways to make this new life we’re living more interesting, deeper, more creative, more productive, maybe even more profitable…and perhaps even more intimate. I feel as though that’s already happening.
So: I’m going to make it happen, as the words on the wall behind my best say to me all day long. I will pay some attention to the world outside, but mostly, I’m going to try to create a little world right here, connected to the big one, but only in the most ennobling, reassuring, entertaining, and inspiring ways. My audience will get more news than they need of the horrors outside; I’m going to speak of the joys. I’m not going to let the negative voices that I have lived with for far too long destroy my inherent joy any longer. I am going to do everything I can to spread joy, to make YOU feel better.
That’s what I’m going to do. And I’m going to do it with stories and ideas and facts and songs and just being myself. My best self.
You get what you focus on in this world: I’m going to focus on my creativity, on my joys, on my connections with people, and on the pleasure I take in learning things, and sharing what I’ve learned. It will be a work in progress, but I will aim to
There will be people who bemoan what is happening in the world, and I will have plenty of time to do that when I’m not interacting with you. None of us will escape this unscathed, even if we escape the virus. But HERE, in this space where I interact with you, I’m not going to focus on that. I am going to focus on joy. Creation. And I’m not going to let those old voices stop my joy going right out to you.
I will be made fun of for this, and I HATE being made fun of. For someone who loves to put himself out there, I really dislike being mocked, and I hate being misunderstood, having my intentions questioned – and the last week I have suffered a devastating onslaught of that, an onslaught that has destroyed a relationship I always thought I could count on.
But others will suffer worse. And I am going to take my freedom and run with it. Come with me, subscribe when possible, and I am going to create something you will want to share with me every day. Let’s do this – together.