Saturday, October 18, 2014

Following My Muse

I've been in love with music for a long, long time.  I enjoy learning about it, listening to it, writing it, and of course performing it.

I love the friendships, laughter and deep kinship I experience with fellow musicians.

Music can serve as a refuge (the word "escape" sounds a bit negative, though it may very well be).

Music opens up many conversations and causes me to think about the natural world in different ways - there are so many mysteries and things still unknown.  Perhaps music and all that goes into it (and from it) is helping to contribute to human kind's understanding and perspectives.

There's a responsibility being a musician - one must be prepared, show up on time of course, and play the gig in front of them.  In any creative endeavor, there's a mix of emotions: excitement, anticipation, and a fair share of disappointment - all of which test our will to continue creating.  But continue to create, we must.

Most of my favorite musicians and artists are what you might call "elders" - they are men and women who have been around.  In the youth-centric media market it's easy to lose sight of the fact that there remains a wealth of deep wisdom and artistry in the work of these elders - those who have lived through success, failure, re-invention, and are still pushing boundaries and creating and performing.  Yes, I keep an eye and ear open to the new trend, the new thing, the new "it" - but with all that is new we must also devote our attentions, at least equally, to those who have traveled and those who continue their creative travels.

So here I am - after all these songs and years, finally making my first music video - a real do-it-yer-selfer for sure.  But I did it - and I'm not boasting, just sayin'.  Part of the muse we all follow requires that we be vulnerable; that we share a part of ourselves and our work.

In his poem Bluebird, Charles Bukowski - a prolific poet and author who explored many wonderfully dark aspects of the human condition - seems to speak of himself; that sweet part of him that, if revealed, might blow his cover.  Pretty cool way of doing just that!  Night after night - following his muse.  And thank goodness for that.

Following the muse - it's a choice.  To follow her may be folly, but to ignore her would be ignorant.

To follow one's muse is to pay homage to all we are; to all we were; to all we are to be; to all we have learned; to all we have loved; to all we have dreamed; to all who have believed in us; to all who would deny us but no longer can - because we followed our muse;  to times past and times still to come - when, if we're fortunate, the muse will still beckon.

Rob Birdwell