Solitude. I would lose my mind without it. Without silences I can wrap around myself, a safe place to retreat to. In order to write music, process, imagine and hide. Often times I wished I was wired differently. With all these self help articles you can’t avoid on social media (thanks Jay Shetty) and everyone being a bladdy guru it’s impossible to not feel like a failure when you switch on your phone. Let me not get started on the the fake sincerity that struts and poses for special effect on my social media feeds. I complained once about this. The counter argument was this in a nutshell – it’s you girl. You control shit so sort it out. Of course I tried speaking about the algorithms, the mind control, the Illuminati and the bullshit double speak that’s so pervasive, but dude was not having any of it. Why, why does this bother me? There’s a saying that when something annoys you it does so because it strikes a chord somewhere. It is a trigger because there’s a truth somewhere you are not willing to face.  Yes, yes. I admit it!  At times I do wonder how I will protect myself when all I do as a songwriter is open my veins and bleed. Hell, I dice and dissect everybody and everything in search of truth. Being a songwriter just makes conveying that truth easier, not processing it.

Years ago, after a performance, I would rush off stage and wish, wish as hard as I could that the music would not reveal as much, that I were wired differently.  Even if I didn’t speak in between – there they are….all those words, my small truths, time bombs just lying in wait for me to trip over. Solitude helps. As it to  gives  me breathing space. So I can be….safe you know.

But what is safety really? At times the need for solitude feels like cowardice. I simply withdraw physically or emotionally. Sometimes without thinking to the annoyance of almost everyone I know. What does it mean to be brave anyway?  At times bravery has meant remaining silent, keeping my shit together. While at other times it required  me to lose my cool so completely I would shake with rage while I shouted at someone.

Balance. Solitude. And Breathe….I am certain I was a monk in a previous life observing the world while trying to attain inner peace. Providing breathing space so others can speak and  share is what I do even without the music, it’s a big part of who I am.  I recall with great shame how I spilled a world of words at Ben Harper’s feet like some idiot who spotted water in a desert and instead of drinking decided to dive right in and do somersaults. How could I resist when I have been speaking to an imaginary aspect of his when I compose music for as long as I can remember? I am sure he has come across stranger people. Balance. Solitude. Remember that past life as an unhappy, sexless monk who almost lost it every time a plate of bland food was placed in front it me…

I am not a difficult person but there are two needs I insist is taken care of and selfishly so every single time. The people in my inner circle all carry  silence around their being rather elegantly. It is not always possible to run into nature or lose myself in a book or a delicious man (okay the last bit is possible but not always advisable). So I reach out to my people, my Senate. At times just by being around them or hearing their very candid thoughts allows me to inhale beach air, feel the green of the forest, the heat of the desert and moon beneath my toes.

The other is truth. But just how does one define truth? Once Doug said to me, ‘Auriol, when you speak the truth remember why you are speaking it and for who it is meant…’ That was the first time I became aware that I used truth like a damn sword fighting  Samurai intent on protecting my  Master’s honor. Oh I could slice and dice you to pieces with it if I chose to, and walk away feeling not only justified but spiritually pure. After all, I spoke my truth didn’t I ? Now I no longer care for absolute truth ( drop it already Jay Shetty). I search for the truth the person I am with is able to share. Very often those truths barely cast a shadow. The question lurking at the back of my mind remains the same: with just how much untruth can you live? Just how much untruth will it take until your body hurts when being touched or your lose your mind and what’s left of your heart?

Solitude. Balance. Breathe dammit Auriol…breathe. It is not your job to wake people up. Just watch them sleep walking as you once did and play them a nice tune okay? Everybody gets it in their own time. In their own way, when they are ready. Chill the fuck out. And try to forget being sexless  monk who ate bad food in that monastery so many years ago….and let go of the sneaking suspicion that your Mother was as responsible back then as she is now for those bland meals.

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