I write. Music, stories, poems… A lot, actually. I look back and the amount of things I’ve had published and the things I’ve performed, and their numbers pale in comparison to the things that haven’t been shared. Sometimes it astonishes me how much I’ve put down. And sometimes I talk about the process, or funny stories surrounding the creative aspect… But I don’t generally like to talk about why I write some of the things I write.
See, it’s a form of therapy. It’s how I deal. You may have heard me talk about why I write ‘horror’ fiction or dark fantasy fiction, and how it’s rooted in how I dealt with nightmares as a child. That’s true, and that’s a lot of where I got inspiration for my books. Its also just the surface, because while characters may have elements of me in them, the fact remains they are also not me, and therefore, have their own stories to tell.
My music tends to lie closer to home. I don’t know if it’s because I was a musician before I could write or if it’s just a fluke coincidence. Certainly my music is not autobiographical in the strictest sense, but it does deal with a lot of the hurt, a lot of the pain, frustration, joy, love, happiness, and things that piss me off that I deal with either every day or have dealt with before in such a manner it’s been branded into my psyche. Writing it down in music… It’s therapeutic. It helps me let go of the bad things and rejoice in the good things. The music enables me to say the things I can’t otherwise say. Putting it into music takes time, and since music is patient, it gives me the necessary time to say it just right; too often I feel pressured to spill the beans right now, and it’s such a stressor for me to do so. I feel, and the riot of emotions often won’t place themselves succinctly and easily into a definable sentence.
Its like this:
I can tell you I love you, but it doesn’t begin to explain the heart-crushing chorus of springtime birds and angels I hear when you hold my hand. I can say that I’m pissed that you have nothing nice to say even after all these years, but it doesn’t even scratch the livid anger I keep tamped down in my blackened little heart. I can say I feel betrayed by you, and how I want to curl up and die, but it can’t come close to showing you the knife-stabbing pain that makes it so hard for me to breathe. I can tell you I’m confused, or happy or whatever you like, but just by putting it in such bland terms, I can’t show you.
If my music turns out to be my sole legacy, how will you know who I am, deep down, if I don’t let you in? How will you know that you’re not the only one if I don’t let you see what I see?
So why, if it’s all so personal, do I share? Aside from enjoying the act of performing and playing music.
When I was a teen I went through several very rough spots. Far rougher than I think anyone really knew (or cared) about. And as I felt like I was being swallowed whole in this… Bog… I remember hearing certain songs on the radio. And I remember how these songs made things make sense again, like the notes turned my world back the way it should be, right-side up. I guess in a weird way, I’m trying to return the favor…
Music is a wonderful healer. It’s a soothing balm for the soul unlike any other. I know how much it helps me… If it might be able to help you, too, then why not? Why keep it to myself? Music has the wonderful capacity to empower. If it feels so good to finally let go of something, why not let it out into the world? If music gives me the strength to write it down and the courage to sing it out loud, why stay silent?