My Creative Life
Over the years I have written so many versions of my life story for web sites, or album releases or book jackets, in first person, in third person, deeply personal, obnoxiously posturing. From humble bragging to pointless meandering prose, I’ve covered it all. Where it lands is here: I am and always will be a man divided by his creative passion and his need to have a life worth writing about. To me, a life worth writing about was a life in service to love and family.
In my creative life, I’ve done a lot. I’ve written nearly 200 songs. I’ve released five albums. I’ve published a novel and written two others. I’ve shared the stage with folks like John Mayer, Jennifer Nettles and Gillian Welch. I’ve done a USO tour of the middle-east. All of these things have gone largely unnoticed to the greater world. That’s what it means for most artists. It’s the 1% who parlay their talent into a marketing juggernaut that wins them money and praise. There’s a price for that. There’s a price for everything.
I didn’t want to pay that price. I wanted to have a family. That was my Dad’s only aspiration for himself. He made donuts, served in the Air force, sold hairbrushes and eventually real estate. What he did never mattered much to him as long as he could be there for us and provide us with the things we needed. The life of a musician is a hard one. It is largely a life of isolation, rejection and loneliness. If you didn’t start out a narcissist, you soon become one reflexively to survive the amount of shameless self-promotion that’s required.
I didn’t have the stomach or the heart, or whatever vital organ is required for that kind of life. I married an amazing woman and we had two beautiful sons. I taught myself how to make web sites, and program and I took a “straight” job. We made a stable life filled with all the good stuff that is easy to take for granted. I continued to nurture my creative life, writing and producing and trying as best I could to put myself out there. We watched our boys grow into strong, passionate and intelligent young men.
And then, in a blink or the turning of a page, that chapter is over and I’m staring down 50. How did I get here? Where did the time go? How is it I’m alone now and what is next for me? There are mornings I wake up and hear the whisper of a new beginning but it’s elusive and disappears below the surface before I can see it’s actual shape. So I will keep getting up. I will keep leaning in and I will keep listening.