Thursday, May 31, 2012

I Won't Give Up





It took me until now to realize I'll be okay.

On April 1st Jason Mraz posted a video on VH1 saying he was quitting the music business. It was a prank, for April Fool's Day, but as I listened to him in his seriousness state the reasons why he couldn't continue, I had the distinct impression--nay, utmost certain knowledge--that should he ever quit, those would be the very real reasons.

As I lay on my bed having just listened to Love Is A Four Letter Word for the first time I peeled open the album casing to read his acknowledgments. I was just smiling that he had thanked "EVERYONE at Atlantic Records...all the way up to Skrillex" when I met the line "Thank you for believing I had another one in me."

I paused, dismayed that the man who, to the furthest extent of my knowledge (which, not to brag, is quite and expansive extent) he was still and always had been creating music. This seemed the next natural movement in his vaulting career. I am almost embarrassed I didn't guess sooner that the April Fool's joke had not until recently been fully a joke.

He stopped blogging, which really only meant his blog was down and out. He continues to post on his website. But he gave a definitive farewell to blogging, so much so that I was surprised--thoroughly overjoyed, yet surprised--that he was posting on his website. He did a farewell tour with Toca; granted, it wasn't named a farewell tour, I believe everyone else, like myself, believed it was just a whimsical reminiscence of the old days, not a last hoorah. He filmed no youtube videos of the album making process. There was no play-by-play. They are giving 20 VIP meet-and-greet tickets to every US show on this tour.

What better way to say goodbye.

Watching the above video, which I really hope embedded correctly, I realized how close I had been to losing it all. If you've read any of my recent posts, you know how central this man is to my being. I almost didn't plan anything special for his 35 birthday because I figured I'd just do it at the next milestone. As he spoke I realized this may well be the last milestone he publicly displays.

I don't know. I thought the same thing when he got engaged to TP, but that is over and he's still here. But as much as I love him and appreciate him and respect him, I know when/if ever he finally abdicates his position in the music universe, I will be okay. It will hurt, but I'll be okay.

I don't really know why I felt I had to write this; but I did. I know I'm really the only one who benefits from my blogging, despite my meager attempts to get strange eyes to spy it, and perhaps that's why it had to be written, because my private journal has been gathering dust since this time last year. But I had to say that as lenient as I am on Mraz's progress and existence, I watched this video and could already feel myself letting him go.

I wont yet, naturally, but when the time comes it wont be hard. I'll be okay. I won't give up.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Ocean Eyes

If I could paint, I would have by now. But I can't. I can't even take pictures half of the time; or rather, I can't make a camera capture what I see. I can take a picture of what I'm looking at, but it doesn't grab...what I see. It's like how a loved one isn't the same when they're chatting with you across the table as they are in a casket. Somethings missing.

All I can do anymore is stare until whatever I want to capture is engraven somewhere in my retina, hopefully being converted to storage somewhere in my brain. Often I don't even know if I'm successful--if I forgot it I couldn't remember it to have known I failed at remembering it in the first place.

I could stand here for one run of 93 Million Miles and turn in to bed like I intended, but I'll forget these night caps; these white cresting waves folding out of a dark drifting sea that pans on until the world ends. The ocean seems conquerable in the daylight; that perhaps just beyond that far-see there's an island or the drop-off. It would be easy and pleasant to go out and see. It's in the dark that the depth becomes incongruent. There is no horizon, only the expanse of ocean wrapping up into the night sky that so fittingly mirrors its shade. It curls under the flat surface of the earth where the salt water swirls in space of eons, crashing and breaking across itself and the thousands of shipwrecked ruins that Earth's surface has written off and forgotten.

This person is not the same as the one I chatted with this afternoon. It has transformed into something else entirely. Gentle hands call me to come in, be enveloped, and stay forever. Archaic blackness swirls off to where the wild things are. Death and happiness and fortitude and loss all scream in the roar of salt water.

I want to know where she'll take me, for in this moment she is a woman, teeming with life yearning to better minor or take it for her own.

But I watch her from a distance, barred in by a deck and a leg-shattering fall from leaping and running to her, from meeting and capturing what my camera and pen cannot. And what my eyes barely retain.

I wonder why muses were ever given a humanoid form. The Greeks must not have monitored their sea by night.

She speaks in tongues and an aquatic sign, but for a moment, perhaps, she is clear to you, as an individual, dashing your heart's desire in the nettles of her wake.

She is wanting. She is inspiring. She is calling.

I pray I have cemented her enough for recollection. And worry lest she changes again.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Wherever I'm Going I'm Already Home

I once read Jason Mraz's blog, before he took all his posts offline, and found something that really stood out to me. It was at a moment in my life where I couldn't comprehend why people were consistently being false about who they were. I am of the opinion and practice that if you generally do not care for someone, don't play to their face as though you're their best friend. Merely limit the exposure you have to them. It has worked relatively well for me, but I couldn't grasp why everyone else just pranced about falsely adoring people they later grumbled about in private.

But for a statement that meant so much to me, I don't remember it. Off the top of my head. Luckily it hit me with such impact and internal, personal meaning, that I placed it on my facebook, where it thankfully has remained.

"Being fake about anything creates a block inside of you. Life can't work for you if you don't show up as you. ...Your thoughts, speech, beliefs, actions and attitudes create the picture of your life. Draw it well."

But it wasn't until about a month ago when I was going through the very girlish anxiety of what to wear and how to have my hair when I meet this man that it occurred to me not to go to extremes to guarantee I'll look good. I need to do what I would do any day; to be myself. This seemed so suddenly important and integrated in me that it took quite some time to realize I was paraphrasing that unforgettable statement that I could never quite memorize.

And as I searched it out and found it again, I realized this has been swirling in paraphrase in my mind for years now; congealing in the drain of my brain, leaving a sort of residue determined to stay for all time. The motto of my life, the way I regulate my days. A source of comfort. It was beautiful to me that I hadn't elected for this to be what carried me along, that it wasn't my teen-aged obsession forcing me to make meaning out of a well-worded thought an idol of mine happened to post online. I tried this last year with the Happy Now Year, which was a very good philosophy, but I never really lived up to it. Despite my fan-driven desire to live by this law, I kept living in maybe's, my tongue tied on someday and my heart draped on the past. But it isn't the fact that I am led to think of Jason Mraz when I think of my personal motto that inspires me; it's the message behind it. This statement has accumulated purposefully in my mind because it rings true to me specifically and entirely, not just my glutinous fandom. It means something because it means something. I can think about it and feel better, inspired, invigorated, ready. Innumerable times this week I have muttered or thought to myself "Life can't work for you if you don't show up as you."

It's not just about presenting myself to Jason Mraz with my hair straight and around my face, my CityStreet jeans gripping the contours of my legs, eggplant eyeliner around my blue eyes, and a Mraz t-shirt as if it's just another day in my life, not the greatest day. It's about being all of that with my attitude and personality every day I breathe. It's about boxing up the doubt and concern that I'm wrong and setting it up in flame. It's about taking the power and confidence I'm moved by when living in theatre and bringing that into practice when I'm living in the moment.

And a large part of my hindrance at "show[ing] up as [me]" is that I'm tied so rigidly to the person I was when that statement first graced my eyes. The admirable thing about Jason Mraz is that he hasn't let success be an excuse for being found drunk and high on street corners by the Po-Po. Life has worked for him because he has, and daily continues to, show up as him. He doesn't sing Wordplay in concert anymore because he's not that same cocky attention seeking guy (his words, not mine), he doesn't smoke anymore because it's derogatory to his health and career. In fine, he's changed. I'd like to think I have grown along with him, maybe not in the same direction, but I've been close enough that I don't dispute who he is now compared to the young kid who first set out for music. And even if I did have my qualms with his slightly gaunt face or almost homeless hair, what right do I have to question him? Whatever he's become is what is right for him. Whatever he does with his life works. Because he keeps showing up as him.

I didn't think this post would come back to Virginia, but it has. Whoever I am is so hidden by the clutter I'm sure Virginia would clear away that I'm unable to fully get life to work for me. I'm struggling and failing because I can't show up as me; whoever I am is concealed in an unreachable place. I'm still so tethered to this part of me that worries and daydreams and lives in the past or the future. But my core wants to live now. My soul wants to show up as me. I want life to work.

So I'm going to break my animism this summer; I am going to tear myself from all the things I don't need that keep tying me down because I may need them or miss them someday.

My thoughts, speech, beliefs, actions and attitudes create the picture of my life.

I can't take up the pen until I've purged enough clutter to see what those thoughts, speech, beliefs, actions and attitudes are.

Life can't work for me unless I show up as me. And I can't be me until I find me.