Out There In The Darkness

We’ve been going through a bunch of old pictures over the past few days. We have so many and we figured it was time to try to get them in some kind of order. I stumbled upon this one from circa 1988. Something about me sitting out there with my guitar, enveloped by the darkness really struck me.

You know, I think I’ve felt that way most of my life. Like I’m out there somewhere on my own. I mean, don’t get me wrong. I know my wife and girls love me and I have family and friends who care for me. But if I’m being really honest, for most of my life I have felt like a square peg in a round hole, like I don’t really fit in anywhere.

I think that is the plight of the artist so much of the time. We view the world so differently than most. We feel EVERYTHING and we feel it deeply. We analyze and dissect every situation through the lens of our emotions because at the heart of it, that’s where our creativity comes from.

Often, however, it leaves us feeling isolated from those around us. It can be very challenging for non-creatives to deal with us. We are moody, often accused of sulking. We are emotional, and sometimes can be a little volatile. When we are creating, we don’t want to be disturbed. When we’re not creating, we’re pining for the next wave of creativity.

Often we are accused of not being present, of being distracted or not paying attention. Sometimes that’s true if we are in one of those creative moments. But sometimes we’re just taking it all in through the filter of our emotions.

I am more fortunate than a lot of creatives. I have a wife who totally gets me. She understands my personality and creative nature. She gives me the space when I need it and supports the expression of my art at all costs. She believes in me when many others haven’t and she chooses to walk on this journey with me every day. I wouldn’t be the artist I am without her. As a matter of fact, I probably would have given up writing songs a long time ago without her by my side.

For those of you who have a creative in your life whom you don’t really “get,” my advice would be to help them nurture that creative side of themselves and help them find an outlet for that creativity. They won’t be all they are supposed to be if they can’t truly express that side of who they are.