I talked about empty spaces a number of weeks ago. Often, I feel that there’s something missing, something below the surface I should have or hold or feel.
Truth is, if we don’t have the comfort of familiarity, if we take life for what it is, really see it, we realize that nothing is permanent. Human relationships and physical possessions and status are all transient. My biggest problems come from attaching expectations to people, places and things.
I did this really awesome yoga practice tonight in the Mission District of San Francisco: Yoga Punx. In the beginning of the session, the teacher asks everyone to think of an intention for the practice. I got so lost running around these last few weeks, moving my stuff into storage, cleaning my old apartment, finally finding an affordable place in Oakland so I can keep working the same hours I’m working and spend the rest of my time on music and writing and meeting new friends and people.
I lost my center, not having a solid base and a person (and a dog) to come home to. I slept at friend’s houses, on the floor of my old apartment–wherever I could. I found solace in unexpected places. I feel like a million years went by rather than merely the month of June. Every day was like a year.
Then, I started to come back to earth and I realized I was missing something. The emptiness inside kept growing larger the more I tried to fill it with people and my expectations of them. I realized I needed to find my hub again.
What is my hub? I asked myself.
The answer came when I was driving in my car listening to the songs I’ve been working on for half a year with my friend Jafar: my art. I came into consciousness here, in this world, for a reason, with the family I ended up in–a family of musicians, dancers and artists. I was raised to believe in the power of creativity. My religion is art, in addition to the belief that the universe, or god, or something inside that is intuitive takes care of us and gives us what we need. So I dedicated my yoga practice tonight to getting back to my art.
Now you can argue that children are dying everywhere, wars and famines rage, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that for now, right here, a lot of us are being taken care of. And we can try to rail against the injustice of it all, or we can appreciate the space and gifts we have been given. We can take those gifts and turn them around. We can reach out and help others, here or far away, with what we have.
I was born to write music and words. I was born to sing. I was born to give what I have in the form of art. When I don’t do it, I run dry. I’m married to my art. I’ve tried to fill the space inside with substances, tattoos, men, exercise, obsession, eating or not eating, abstaining or indulging, and I always come back to this: When I do music and write and then share these things with others, I feel happy. It’s a simple guage. I’m neurotic as they come, I suppose, and perhaps this is just my way of finding meaning in a world where we have the ability find our own meaning individually and define what this meaning is to us.
I can’t fill myself with other people. I can give what I have to other people. And when I’m connected to my destiny, everything works out. I was stuck in the mud for a while, and the mud ejected me from its bowels of chaos. I suddenly found myself without a lot of things I used to have. But I got all the things I lost back—except one. My husband.
It was nice having someone who always had my back, who would drop everything to help because we made a commitment to put each other first. It was nice to feel safe and taken care of. He helped me through many years where I was drifting, trying to find my way back to me. I helped him, too.
An old lady came into the library today and we were chit-chatting about things like divorce and her husband’s death to suicide fifteen years ago. She told me when her husband killed himself, she found that people were attracted to the vacuum that opened up inside of her. She felt curious about this, why human nature was to nurture a bottomless pit.
I don’t know about that, but she said something else, about how it’s hard to lose a husband, because of the reasons I stated before. You have a bond and a commitment to each other. You agree that you will not leave the other person alone. When something happens, you go running to their aid. You know, until death or illness separates you, that you always have that one person. You have a bubble, a cushion to protect you against the world. We mutually broke that bond so that we could find a better happiness for ourselves, and it’s a hard bond to break. Friends don’t fill the space that lovers do. It’s a hard world out there with so many possibilities.
There are a million songs written about love and losing love, because this is the nature of human existence. Sometimes we have things, sometimes we don’t. All I know is this: I will appreciate and respect what the universe offers me. I have turned my thinking around from negative to grateful. And if I need a hole filled in me, I will focus that much more on my music and writing to fill it. It’s the only thing that works, because it’s real, it’s who I am, and it’s how I see the world. When you respect your art, you get more rewards than money and success. Money and success are not necessarily the rewards I want. I am seeking the substance behind the art, the power to connect with people and lift them to a higher plane through simply baring my soul.
Music (and art) is my lover. Music (and art) is a part of my makeup. Music transcends time and space and it’s what I was given and what I will give.