Mondays and StruggleMay 2, 2005
Pursuing a life that has meaning is no small undertaking for me. Sometimes I wish I were a contented soul, or one of the many people I know who have the gift of simply living and not always having to question. I have a startling ability to always leave the door open so that a cold draft keeps me moving, unable to settle in and sleep. I've come to accept this about myself. I think this is actually the cataylist for any creative spark that I might have --- it's not so much a gift as it is a daily exercise in survival.
I study the choices. I study my friends and people I know, always wondering what private demons they face and how they find meaning in everyday. I have friends who are famous and I have friends who are pennyless -- I have friends who are both. I know people who are content and I know people who are miserable, and you would never be able to tell them apart if you interviewed them. We are all driven by the same basic desires and fears and yet we all manage them in an infinite variety of ways. This to me is endlessly facinating.
My sense is that life is a struggle and was always meant to be one by design. Struggle is not a negative thing, or something to be afraid of. I think our culture has evolved to a point where most of us don't really know real struggle, meaning physical survival, so even the person with everything can be made to feel that they have nothing. This friction, even if it is manufactured must exist for us to keep going down the road. This, in my opinion is why there is such a craving for the "reality" TV show. People need some taste of struggle in their comfortable lives, even if it is second hand.
I can't get excited about earning a living. I can't get excited about going to another kid's birthday party in a screaming, jumpy-ball, bad pizza, goodybag warehouse of blinking lights. I can't get excited about booking another gig, or trying to sell one of my songs. What excites me, is when my 4 year old reaches up for my hand as a matter of habit when we go into a crowded room, or the way my wife can kiss me out of the blue and pull me back into the good life that we have. I also like laying on my back in the grass in the backyard and watching clouds. These are the things that make it all work.