If you had 48 hours to live what would you do? Would you call up certain people, apologise profusely to others, feed the homeless and do all manner of depraved and delicious things? And what music would you listen to, what food would you eat? Would those things even matter in those final hours? I think if we were all more concerned with our eventual annihilation we would live with greater honesty and daring.
‘Don’t you ever get tired of all these control mechanisms you put in place?’ a friend asked recently. I had to admit that I was starting to bore myself. I constantly evaluate my behavior to ensure I am ethical, as the idea of losing control is one I cannot bear. Not in my personal life and most certainly not professionally. It is imperative I know the contents of my mind and heart at all times. ‘All I can do,’ I replied ‘is find pockets of safety with certain people. Small bits of happiness…’ And then it hit me. My cowardice, my shadow I thought I confronted was having a mad rave downing tequila and vodka to bad music with short men who have bad breath. Damn.
Small bits of happiness? It sounds poetic doesn’t it? But wait…fuck that! The truth is I desire more happiness, love and music than I could digest in one sitting. I want to swim in it, breathe in it, sing from that place. If I had 48 hours to live what would I do? Composing music with Ben Harper is at the top of the list. At least I am sure of that. In fact the real question I have to ask myself is this – what is the greatest risk I could take? The answer is so simple yet so terrifying. The greatest risk I could take is to allow someone to move me out of my skin way to places not even music could reach. And it is a risk I have not taken since I fell in love at the age of 16.
Yeah, my shadow was too busy raving in plain sight for years and I too occupied with other things to notice. It’s amazing just how poorly we treat ourselves in those moments isn’t it? We allow people to overstep our boundaries, or worse yet forget that we have them at all. Bullshit behavior is viewed as acceptable and we settle for crumbs. Crumbs of affection, moments of frenzied passion, poor pay for great work, horrid food and cheap whiskey. Or worse still – I offer those to people who come my way.
If I had 48 hours to live I would spend it with those I know love me as ardently as I love them …and in those final moments, knowing I lived and loved well, I would sing…