“The List”

Courage. Talent. Skill. Dedication. Vision. Belief…

I am a musician. And a songwriter, and producer, and dangerously enough of an engineer to understand how to make all those other jobs work together to create music.
I’ve been doing this now for longer than some of you have been alive. I don’t really consider myself to be ‘old’ but I certainly don’t fall into the ‘young’ demographic…

I began this post with a list. The page of my journal was blank and begging to be filled.

You have to start somewhere.

So I made a list of the qualities I believe you should possess in order to attempt this music thing. I suppose they apply to any endeavor if you think about it. Charlie, my mechanic who speaks in ‘rich and colorful metaphor’ has kept my aging Hyundai Elantra alive and kicking (388K+ miles), and he possesses these list-qualities in no small measure. He is truly an artist of the automotive.

But I’m not Charlie, and this is my post. The fact that I took the time to introduce you to him underscores the following about me:

Of all the items listed, I struggle with very first one.

(I’ll save you the trouble of scrolling back)

Courage. I believe I have enough of the other items in order to ‘do my thing.’ But I SO struggle with courage, or the lack thereof.

I have filled post after post and song after song with my musings and thoughts and feelings. Only on occasion have my shields lowered enough to allow my heart to peek through.

And that’s just wrong.

Art without courage is just noise.

I’ve been working on a post the past few days about war, sadly always a timely topic. But I’m struggling, not because I lack an approach or even words I desperately need to share. I lack the courage to tell my tale of war as a metaphor.

There’s a war in my world and I’m afraid to face it, much less write about it.

But I hear a call to courage. To find the bravery to raise my hand and admit to being human.

If I follow courage, my list would be different:

Cowardice. Insecurity. Anger. Loneliness. Fear.

All the qualities that prevent and negate the art I long to present.

So here’s to the lists we have in our lives. Admit it, we all have them. Choose ye this day which one to believe…

There is a fire inside of me that longs to create. It flames up a bit here and there. Just enough, I suppose.

But I want more…

I want to immolate my fears in a bonfire of creative passion, in the gifts that I’ve been given. Not for accolade or reward, or even for anyone else. I want the freedom that creativity brings to be true to being me.

If I’m honest, I am afraid of this fire, of losing control. Fear keeps me isolated and in slavery. And alone.

Courage can only be found in loneliness. The ‘bravery’ of the crowd is hollow at best.

Father, thank You for the gift of this day, for courage modeled and found. You created me to be an artist. May this be a day of creativity and boldness, with freedom to all who fear.

Now I have a post to write about war.

May you find your courage today. It can be found in the most unlikely of places. Inside of your heart…

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