just putting it on the back burner.
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Hummingbird Medicine has written 4 entries about this goal
- talkative guy – wonderfully supportive and appreciative – saw him last week
- gal in green – can be tough to read initially but she’s actually very fun and quirky to talk to. Just contacted me last night – tracked me down asking if anyone at the bar had my contact info – to buy another CD
- ranger – haven’t seen her in a while due to geographical issues – she works up in the hills and doesn’t have a car, and the place I used to play up there shut down
- cheese and poetry – haven’t seen her in a while but she goes on the road a lot
While I was sorting receipts I was talking to QF by phone for hours the way we do every night, and have since we first started talking last year. His career as a musician appears to be going places; he’s getting royalties from commercial use of some of his songs and he’s doing the beginnings of some touring, plus a few fairly accomplished people from his genre have found out about him and asked him to collaborate on some projects. He’s been doing research on how to make a living as a musician full-time; there are a lot of ways to succeed, according to one video he was watching.
“What’s their definition of success?” I asked him.
“Getting people to know you’re there, getting them familiar with your music, and making enough money at it to support yourself.” Well that’s one more dimension than I’m looking for, actually, so I listened carefully.
We’re fairly young people but we’re not kids. We’re attractive people but we aren’t going to be on the front page of any glamorous magazines anytime soon. When it comes to “making it,” you really haven’t got a prayer if you’re over 24 – really your best bet is to somehow make it happen before age 20. I’m well past that and he’s over twice that age, but fortunately neither one of us feels a need to be interviewed on MTV (not that MTV has anything to do with music anymore anyway). And for those of us who just want to get our music out there, it’s a relatively easy and sometimes very lucrative thing to do. It’s not really that hard to get your music into TV and films, and you don’t have to be a 20-year-old supermodel to do it. They don’t care if you’re 80 years old, hitting the bass notes on your piano with your wooden leg for fits and giggles; they just want good songwriting that conveys a mood. From there you can catch people’s attention…a lot of people will hear a snippet of a song on TV or in a movie and just HAVE to have it on CD or iTunes.
I think I could do that. Again, it doesn’t matter what I look like or how “old” I am (in my thirties – what a sick culture)...I’m a very good songwriter and I know how to give an emotional performance. I could do that too, just like he does. And people would get the heart connection with me right away. Something to think on.
In my spare time, of which I’ve had practically none lately, I am a musician. I am also, obviously, a writer, but I find sitting down with an instrument much more powerful and enjoyable than sitting down in front of a keyboard and typing until my back gets sore.
Certain things have been happening lately…first off, letting go of my friend M, I noticed something. I hadn’t really felt safe having an intimate conversation with him in about a year, and what I’m grieving more than the loss of deep one-on-one knowing and experience with him is actually just giving him good things – sharing my music, writing, artwork, etc. – and having a sense that he appreciated them. Basically what I most enjoyed in our relationship seems to have been the satisfaction of knowing someone really enjoyed, and sometimes even learned from, things that I created from the heart. I’d say it was 90% a matter of wanting to give someone something, and 10% wanting the experience of being appreciated; having some indication that what I was offering was wanted and mattered. Even when we couldn’t really speak intimately anymore I still really enjoyed doing that.
I got to thinking…it seemed like I needed a fan more than I needed a friend, and considering the drive I have for close relationships that’s saying a lot. Thinking some more, I realized that yesterday I had one of the most purely enjoyable moments I’ve had in a long time. I went to the bar to play some music and someone walked in and saw me, and he got a great big smile on his face. “Oh cool! You’re here!” He shook my hand and told me how glad he was that his friends were coming and would be able to hear me play too. While I was on stage he actually made a request for a particular song he really loves. What I adored about this is that he was obviously feeling emotionally fed by hearing me play. So were a lot of other people at the bar, including the friends who were there with him.
Honestly, I’m telling you, I just have the biggest, softest heart you can imagine. I have absolutely no reason to boast about that; it’s not my doing, and in fact living like this is actually really hard; I get hurt constantly. But I want so much to nurture other people; I pretty much love on sight for the most part and there’s no way I can have a deep personal relationship with everybody I meet…but I want to give them something they can value; something they can benefit from.
I want to convey a universal, spiritual love. That’s the gift other artists have given me, and it has saved my earthly life a dozen times over. I want to share that with others. When I was about 20, my depression was in full swing. I’d been abused and neglected all my life and had spent so much time isolated in that family environment that I literally didn’t know it wasn’t normal. All I knew was that I was miserable and didn’t particularly want to live anymore. Then one night I had terrible insomnia and turned on the television and saw this avant garde dance troupe…I realized in that moment that I wasn’t alone in feeling how I did (and sometimes still do). They clearly felt the same kind of emotions I do, and for the first time in my life I was convinced that somebody else was capable of feeling to the same depth that I do, too. And the best part was I felt that they cared about me without ever having known I personally existed. They weren’t getting rich off this stuff; it wasn’t a career for any of them but they spent untold hours creating these dances, and they were all easily talented enough that if they’d wanted money or fame they could’ve had a lot more of both by doing something much more mainstream (not to mention far less personally revealing and vulnerable). The only reason they would have put on show after show that way was because they knew someone else out there felt like they did, and they knew that other people needed for them to amplify their feelings in such a way as to know their pain was not unique. Without knowing me personally, they cared enough about me to say “we get it. You’re not alone. We’ve been through incredible suffering, but we’re surviving and so can you.” That’s what I want people to have from my music.
And just like I have always known that I can turn on a video of those dancers if ever I need that confirmation, that emotional feeding, I want people who I don’t know personally to still understand that in a sense they can come to me – more specifically my music – and be fed. I want to be there for more people than I can call a friend. That’s what it would mean to me to have fans.