Musicians really do have a lot of fun! If only achieving intimacy, joy and happiness offstage could be as easy as  finding the right chord progression or lyrics to a song. Whether we want to admit it or not we are all influenced by  external factors,whether it’s the experience of others, our own dark past or the plot of a intriguing book.  Based on numerous factors we determine what we need and desire. Sadly if anything arrives at our front door that does not fit our desired expectations, it is either discarded outright or viewed as being of less value.

The Indian poet and philosopher Rabindranath Tagore opined, “Relationship is the fundamental truth of this world of appearance,”  Cast your mind to your professional sphere – what fears plaque you? Loss of control is at the top of my list. I do not mind the odd bit of great advice yet the trajectory of my career is one only I can determine. Yet it is a lesson I have learnt through contrast. By being in the presence of what I do not desire, by meandering down a path where I am constantly chasing shadows. And so each and every day is filled with my own little ‘quest for meaning’ as Hannah Arendt once said. This quest is the reason why my notebooks are littered with  words and phrases. It is the ultimate reason why I sing.

Thoreau once wrote, ‘A man receives only what he is ready to receive…’ In other words you are the center, you are what attracts every single experience – whether consciously or unconsciously. Now this is all fine and dandy but I am greedy for experiences that allow me to grow. In order to achieve that objective, I have decided to play a little trick on myself. What if I said yes, I asked myself? What if I stopped being so damn comfortable all the time? What would happen to me then? The answer? Everything happened. Everything happened as I had no expectations. I ran into wonderful people and generated so many ideas for not only music but all other parts of my life. You see, once I was a very scared and shy girl. Once I feared everything…

Audre Lorde’s words resonate deeply,  “I am listening to what fear teaches. I will never be gone. I am a scar, a report from the frontlines, a talisman, a resurrection. A rough place on the chin of complacency.” These days I listen intently to others and what my very fearful self has to show me.  If I want every minute of my life to matter than I must trust those I allow into my life and myself. Conversely, there is nothing wrong with saying no, leave me alone or I refuse to engage with you on those terms. The issue of discernment must center stage. For a long while I never imagined that any one man could fulfill all my emotional needs. To counter that I opted to have many Misters whom I affectionately termed  my Other Husbands (Ben Harper being the Love of my Musical Life naturally). While it all seems rather fun and frivolous I know it is based on fear and I am oh so tired of being fearful. As Audre said,’ Afraid is a country where they issue us passports at birth and hope we never seek citizenship in any other country.’ Darlings, listen closely, I am ready to spread my wings and travel…

“There is another, inner way… which binds the artist to the world. He who walks this trail sees the beauty of the earth, and hears its music.” Hans Cloos.

So this is a fond farewell to not only all my Other Husbands but my fears as well. My heart is my own and no longer afraid of saying yes! Yes to the exceptional.  Yes to anything that lights up my inner sky.  Regardless of where it might take me. As long as I am in it …it will be an adventure!



3 thoughts on “Why Be Scared Eh?

  1. Shed a few tears at this….

    This could be my higher self speaking through you… I am convinced!

    Its true that you should ne’er give up, because you have no idea who you might be inspiring.

    I am inspired by this.


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