Archive for January, 2016

The actual dark and secret life of a folk singer

Friday, January 22nd, 2016

I do like to share the fun stuff, the unexpected wonder of life on the road. But there is another side that I will share just this once.

 

I haven’t posted anything in a while, despite promising to make this a weekly thing. One of my readers, a fan and acquaintance though not quite a friend (yet), prodded me a bit – as she should. “You haven’t posted anything in a while, and you promised” she wrote.  Of course I thanked her for the push I needed. But I felt compelled to apologize and also to make excuses.

 

I had a list. It started with the biggest truth; we have been writing new songs and that has been consuming my creative energy and using up all my allotted words. I added other reasonable excuses; there have been some construction issues and a little travel. I could have stopped there. That’s a good, honest list. I should have stopped there.  But I didn’t.  The acquaintance wrote back.  “Quite the list” she said, “but kind of a lot of drama for not much substance. everything okay?” I re-read my list, long and over-dramatic.

 

You should understand that its getting cold out and I worry about our porch wren and the stray cat not to mention construction people being out of work when they need money to pay for heat, the presidential debates are crazy, my winter garden is a failure, I finished a book that I didn’t really love and I should be over that by now, the tiniest church was burned down, our drier broke.   You should also know I am not a crazy person. If you are a friend and not just an acquaintance I hope you back me up on that last thing.

 

If you are a friend that is also a songwriter you will certainly back me up on this next part. When I am in writing mode, I am feeling the full weight of my surroundings, tuned into the details and emotions, and focused on expressing all of that. It is not a switch that is easily turned on and off. Songwriting, and other creative pursuits I imagine, are risky endeavors.  We open ourselves too wide to the world. All of the beauty and wonder around us is brighter. So, all of the ugly and evil is deeper and darker. The rewards are amazing, certainly worth the risks, to see and feel and imagine with such depth and clarity.

 

And now you know the other secret life of a folks singer. And now you know when I start a sentence with the phrase ‘we’ve been writing a lot lately’ the rest of the conversation may be a little crazy. Hopefully the song is worth it, for both of us.