I’ve started and stopped blog posts ad nauseum over the past month or so. I haven’t completed one in a while and I feel like my brain is full and needs to be emptied.
So…here this is.
I don’t know where to start other than just acknowledging where I am with life – which is to say…I’m in the same spot as I have been. No better, no worse…just…here.
Well, no I take that back. I’m better off I think. I don’t know. What do you call going through random spurts of anger, sadness, tearful joy, tearful depression, and mainly just being an emotional wreck every other day?
The same, probably. I think maybe I just see an end to the proverbial tunnel that is “the meantime.” I’ve spent far too many years of my adulthood resisting this eventual evolution. I mean, I didn’t purposefully resist…
Ok, maybe I did.
But still, it’s nice to see some light there.
But you know…I experienced something today that I think I’ve been trying to accomplish my entire artistic life.
This is turning into a line by line thing…I hate that. Anyways:
My mother has been my biggest inspiration my entire life. She passed when I was 13, and it shook me to my core. I never got over it…still haven’t if I’m being honest. I’m an emotional wreck because I never want that to go away…that is a remnant of my grief; a way of staying connected to that feeling of missing her. I know that sounds ridiculous. I get it. Who WANTS to be sad? She’s a constant presence in my life despite it almost being 20 years now that she hasn’t been here. I live with my mom’s mom who has been my second mother since I was 13, and my mother’s pictures are all over my room, all over the house. I always feel bad for my Dad in moments like this…where my ode to my mother’s existence overshadows what he did for me…but I think he understood when he was still here that Mom’s impact on my life was so short lived that it was always going to be a looming shadow over my entire human experience.
But long story short…since her passing and since I started writing both words and music, I’ve searched for the best way to honor her memory…and I think I just did that.
I designed a show for Lecanto this year that is all about an ode to motherly figures…”She Taught Me to Dance.” It’s a reference to all of the lessons our mothers taught us throughout our lives. The lessons of unconditional love, of appreciation for music and finding beauty in things and the world at large. All of the things that I never understood until I got older. Don’t get me wrong, I found appreciation from the other women in my life that took over for her…but even they know that Mom’s influence took center stage at every point in my life.
This show is my way of putting my thank you into the universe – art begets emotion and translates into a language that isn’t for our ears to fully understand. I may not always come off as the most religious person, but I believe God gave us the ability to make music to communicate things that words can’t do justice. There is a beauty to music that transcends our realm of being…and the only explanation to that than it being that of God’s means of connecting us to it.
When Mom passed, I threw myself into music. At the time it was just drumming, but I always wanted to write my own stuff…so I started to write on marimbas and vibes and it grew to piano and so on. Eventually I started writing songs and designing shows, etc. Meanwhile…I wrote words to connect with Mom and show the world how much I missed her and how thankful I was to have had her in my life at all.
But NOTHING hits me like this show does right now. I mean…yes there are voiceovers to help push the story along. The music underneath though…totally original, from my own brain in my best attempt to connect with whatever realm my mother can hear it in. I always hope I do her proud and I think for the first time in my creative life I feel like I’ve done that.
Not that she wouldn’t have been proud of me no matter what I did – she was always supportive of everything I’ve done…but I don’t know…this one hits different.
So, I’m currently sitting here a blubbering mess listening to this show on repeat just wishing I could play it for her in person and have her know what she meant to me. This was all for her. Everything I do is for her…and always will be.