I know their names and faces. All the people who should go straight to hell and not collect money as they go around the bend. People who have not only pissed me off but injured me to such an extent I banished them to the outer edges of my mind. And still I was friendly and understanding. Until I lost my shit and cut them out of my life with the greatest of precision.
Now, we all have issues we need to face, challenges to overcome and I am keenly aware of mine. I need to share exactly how I feel without sugarcoating it. Yet because I know what it feels like to face a very unreasonable human being, I opted for what I thought was a better way. I just didn’t like being reminded of the violence in my father’s voice and hands so long ago. I decided consciously to never allow my emotions to get the better of me, to be calm and reasonable where others could not.
All my rage and anger, all the sadness and tears, the frustration therefore found a place in music. For example, A Better Man off my Call it Love album, was the last song I penned. But when I sang it for the first time…I stomped my feet, bared my teeth, threw my fists into the air as though I was fighting off ghosts. I spat out those lyrics as I remembered every instance where I swallowed words and said nothing.
I am surrounded by very strong, accomplished and educated people who happen to be my friends. I defer to them in certain instances – for a reason. I recall being asked about race relations in South Africa. Wait, I said. Let me put you in touch with someone who speaks eloquently, who can provide facts, statistics and give you a broader perspective than I could. In short – allow me to introduce you to an expert. I do this for people I care about.Turns out all they wanted to know was my personal experience, but I pointed them in another direction regardless.
My sister is right when she said she won’t call me if there’s a fight on the streets. I would Dali Lama all of them. Yet, that is not always advisable I discovered. It matters sharing what one honestly feels. It matters that I do it and face the consequences. I am reminded of Ben Harper. Yes, yes, I sound like a rabid fan but whatever (go read someone else’s blog if you can’t deal with my love for his damn music okay?). He took a stand, even though some disagree with him. Secretly I thought…you do you Ben. And fuck the rest. You have enough friends and a wonderful family to care about. Sometimes we need to say what should be said.
I speak a great deal about detachment. I still believe one needs a calm mindset in order to share honestly. In other words, find your balance first and the respond from a place of strength and not one that was triggered. However, there are instances when raw emotions must be shared, when truth are unearthed while covered in broken bone and blood.
It helps if one is surrounded by people who can hold space and provide safety when this happens. In short, by people who can see the pain of another as they do within themselves.
But so often I don’t know how to share my feelings. Hell, sometimes I am so confused that I have no choice but to write music or sing. And still….I come across people who take it upon themselves to tell me how I should feel, how I should respond or worse still how I should love and who to love!
In order to move beyond polarity we need to root out all the nasty emotions we feel, individually and collectively. And that is never easy or nice. In fact it’s usually very messy. All we can do is maintain our balance, hold space for others and not fall apart even if our world is crumbling.
Perhaps it is time our world is shattered to pieces…so something new can emerge from the ruin. After all it was my man Rumi who said…in ruin lies treasure.