It would have been a fairly simple matter to not write a letter. We can often re-establish ourselves through simple action as opposed to words but that hasn’t been my style this year as I have become more open and connected. Which has been, like all things, both positive and negative. And if you are a casual follower then please, go about your normal business unless you feel there might be something in this letter for you. I am very close to having my own place on the web to put things like this.
A year in and I had always thought I would take a look at things once it had passed since the breakup of the band. I saw a lot of great things, a lot of honesty and a lot of courage, a lot of self expression through words or art or feelings and it was rewarding to know you are followed, through your art, by people of such passion, conviction, and self awareness.
I have, for some time, felt that connecting too close would bring with it some negative things. Things out of my control but things nonetheless, and of course I was right, though this did not deter me from continuing to be open. But the last few months have felt different. And it wasn’t specifically any one event but the building up of many, and the sound of too much white-noise. Too much access leading to only the same type of confusion and unrest that I have seen throughout the year. But again I want to stress that all of this has been good progress and good learning. Positive and negative.
As an artist, I am continually reminded and encouraged to be of limited access to the audience. But I found that this is not my way- well, not all of the time. Actually it is both in and out of access I need to be. There is a time and a place for both. I have learned this.
When I started being open for the first time in what felt like ages, it truly did feel that it was helping. Helping some of us get through for sure but it also helped me a great deal in accepting things. It became a kind of therapy for me, and even the occasional anger and frustration I would field all added up in my head, creating a large broad-stroke picture.
The thing that was mildly disheartening, and resulting in somewhat of a restructuring of how I operate, is the division, or the need to create fantasies of separation in order to cure anger, boredom, or frustration.
It is difficult for people, including myself, to see the truth for what it is- again because it is boring, and it doesn’t agitate or excite us in the same way as a fantasy, like a drug. But in the year, something that stood out was witnessing a fair amount of people try to divide up a situation, like a band, into “camps” or “sides”. Literally seeking to pull apart the very friends that created the reason we even have a dialogue, why you are even interested. If I could say there is any kind of behavior that I would rather not have witnessed it was that. The aims of the confused or bored. But I’m glad that I did because it makes sense- that in all the chaos of a break-up people needed an order of things, and a side to take, fictitious in origin as they may be.
But I think the thing that I learned the most, and have come to embrace, is the simple fact that you cannot, and will not take everyone with you. As an empath it is in our nature to want to reach everyone, share with everyone, get everyone to love each other to keep the feeling in the room somewhat manageable for the empathetic as opposed to the rollercoaster of extreme emotions which tend to feel like going from feeding ducks in a pond to witnessing a car accident. It’s the same when playing live for ten people or ten thousand. A rush-in of emotion, good and bad, it becomes the performers job to then inspire a positive connection throughout the audience, that they then share, though we can sometimes fail at this, and often it is because of a very vocal and negative minority. The performer lets that bit get through the wall and it starts to fall apart. You have seen it before when going to see your favorite band live. I call it “the one-finger” rule, and a person that possesses a desire for a negative reaction a “one-finger” because it is usually within an audience of a thousand raised sets of hands in togetherness that, if you look hard enough, you will find the one middle-finger extended out. Almost 100% of the time it isn’t negative but the desire for a reaction, which is all any of us really want- a reaction. To be loved.
Know this, that I am aware it exists and I’m also aware it is small. I am aware it is simple noise, easily tuned out if in the right headspace, which we are all capable of. I would like to imagine that all of us, including my friends know this as well. I don’t generalize a tremendous fanbase like this one. It would be naïve. The outpouring of positive emotion and support for an idea and it’s individuals has been unmanageable in it’s size. So thank you.
But it has always been my job to create, not ask you what I should create before I do it, as that would do you an enormous disservice. This time I do not seek a bubble, or to close myself off. I seek to keep the thread alive, but a thread and not an alarm. This year has been a lot of fun and I feel now that I know you all more, even if I never responded to you, than I ever did before and what I have come to know is love, and how different each one of us is, and how much we all have to share.
I’ve got a lot of work to do this year, and I would love it if you joined me but I understand if you cannot. I will be here, creating, regardless, and it’s going to be a lot of fun.