I’ve spent my whole life thus far wondering what I was supposed to be doing. As a kid it seemed so black and white. Happy or sad. Right and wrong. Loneliness or togetherness. Acceptance or rejection. Yet personally filled with a sense of mystery, majesty, beauty, imagination. Coupled with a sense of fear, questions, doubts and confusion.
I was told that I was gifted, and the gift was music, and that I had “musical intelligence” first and foremost and above any of my other intelligences. I do agree even still to this day that my musical intelligence far outweighs any other intelligences I may possess, relatively speaking. But why? What could music really do to change the world? How could playing the cello really help anyone? It sometimes felt like it was just a form of entertainment, predominantly for the affluent and the elite. It felt like not many folks really dug classical music unless they, too, were on stage playing it, or had some other association to it. On countless occasions, truth be told, even I got really fidgety at concerts of classical music unless I was on stage, or unless it was mind-blowing. I never made peace with the fact that cello alone would not save the world. I knew that people like Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell were changing the world,one song at a time, so I took a page from their books and started “rebelliously” writing songs to my mother’s dismay. I wanted this to be my gift, along side of my cello prowess.
I wanted to say something. Something more than just an interpretation of the beautiful dots on a page, as I understood that those classical masterpieces were many times politically charged, spiritually inspired, and unmistakably life changing and poignant during the periods they were being written, just as Dylan’s words and songs were. Not that I thought of myself as anything close to those geniuses, but I still wanted to voice something relevant to the world as it stands, in my own humble musical and textual expression, as those masters had in their own way.
So as I grew up, and made many mistakes (nothing to do with the music I was making, but from my glaringly obvious more underdeveloped intelligences), and I became superficially worldly, I lost that hope I felt as a young person. I somewhere lost the vision. I thought the dream had just been a childhood fantasy, with no relevance or place in a grown up world. And I became complacent, dismayed, apathetic, despondent. I felt even less able to do anything that might help anyone, as through my trials, felt I could barely help myself, so what could I possibly offer to anyone else? I wasn’t getting answers to the problems of the world, I was getting more questions, and contributing to the problems of the world. That was a sad realisation, but it was not accurate. It was honest, as far as I could understand. I was seeing reality as it is, as where I had failed, as to my mistakes, and my lacklustre.
I would catch glimpses of my part in the story, but had no idea how this weakened sight could contribute anything to anyone. I was humbled to the point of despair. I was paralysed in fear of never being remembered, never really contributing anything of value to the world. Yet I called it hunger for fame, fortune, recognition, yet I really only wanted to be loved, and heard, and seen. But it was too scary to let anyone see me, because who I was could not be seen. If you saw me, in my vulnerability, then you might have rejected me. You may not have liked what you saw. So it was easier to show you what I thought you wanted to see, only perpetuating the isolation and separation that is born from insincerity and hiding behind veils. As long as I looked a certain way, did nice things for people, and was a relatively good person, than I must have been a success. But that was not true.
My motives were all wrong. The motivation for achievement and the value I put of my life was directly measured by how you saw me. This is the definition of Hell on Earth, and between a giant rock and a very hard place. The weight of the world I created was far to heavy to continue to hold, so I landed in a heap on a very hard and cold surface of a futile feeling existence.
That was the problem, I was only scraping the surface, and only existing, not living. I was so busy trying to convince you that I was ok, that I hadn’t looked at whether I was or not. I clearly wasn’t.
Then a shift happened. As I called them often, epiphanies…. Now I tend to call them “rememberings“, because I think I did always have a sense of what the point of it all was. I remembered I had felt alive as a child. In wonderment, in awe. Not understanding everything, but being teachable and hungry for life’s beauties and magnificence. Able to see clearly with a trusting heart. I could see that as I “grew up”, and I had experienced real pains and struggles, that I had built giant walls around my heart to survive. I chose to numb out, and forget. I closed shop on epiphanies, I had stopped remembering, until I remembered, again….. and whew…
Shift happens…. and is still happening…. and will always keep happening. I think it is for all of us. As I allowed myself to recall that bewilderment of my childhood, I started to see that you, too, while you were growing up, may have started closing shop on your “remembering” too.
So, as we felt apart from, as opposed to feeling a part of, we were all in the same boat. We all grew up, and hardened our hearts, and forgot to trust, as the risk was too great. When we openly shared about these experiences together, and saw that we are all have suffered at different times, and that we all just wanted to reunite with our tribe, and make a difference in this world, we learned that we could trust each other. So we decided to take a leap of faith and reclaim our tribe.