Every notebook has a quote sprawled on the first page. ‘To love is to give a hostage to fate’ I declared a few years ago. Rilke, Rumi, Anais Nin, Andre Brink and even my granny Gilda’s words (Love is a form of creativity) have found their way into my books along with cryptic scribbles about music, love, family and even the odd spot of political intrigue.
Even at a young age, when upset I never spoke first. I rushed to my room, slammed the door and only emerged after scribbling furiously for hours. I keep a journal for various reasons. Songwriting being the primary one. I recently collected four years’ worth of journals and boy oh boy was I in for a shock!
Esther Perel wrote, ‘Beginnings are always ripe with possibilities, for they hold the promise of completion. Through love we imagine a new way of being.’ Perhaps that is what I was always in pursuit of. A new way of existing in this world – with and without music.
First a candid confession. I love me some love yo. Or as Pablo Neruda lyrically said ‘ You are my replica of the multiplying universe.’ I am a musician and multiplying universes are my thang! I revel in the connectivity, the everythingness of long arms, smooth skin and love the colour of sun-ray yellow and emerald green.
The author Nussbaum wrote: ‘We deceive ourselves about love — about who; and how; and when; and whether. We also discover and correct our self-deceptions.’ The only way I uncovered the truth about who and how I love was through Music. If Music is not the end result of what I felt –then what I felt was not real enough. I was merely passing time.
Another confession: my notebooks were filled with to do lists and maps of how I should navigate my life. This reminded me of the first stanza of Elizabeth Bishop’s poem called ART
‘The art of losing isn’t hard to master;so many things seem filled with the intent to be lost that their loss is no disaster.’
I unwittingly discovered the cause of much of my inner conflict. I was living within the confines of an outdated script. The revelation that the script or blueprint was false from the very start was the real shocker. Nietzsche was right all along! “Your true educators and cultivators will reveal to you the original sense and basic stuff of your being…,”
The basic stuff of your being. Damn. It would appear that I have been searching for this basic stuff for years! And they were always right in front of me. They came in the form of people I loved and lost along the way. Music was never a destination – instead it moulded who I was in the process of becoming.
My open channel or link to the divine has always come in two forms. Music and silence. I might appear flirty at times. A real hoot at a party yet I love silence more than most. My notebooks are littered with cryptic names and riddles – all penned while in a nature reserve, the beach at all godforsaken hours, a second hand bookshop or while a lover lies sleeping in the next room.
Rebecca Solnit summed it up when she said, ‘Silence occurs in many ways for many reasons; each of us has his or her own sea of unspoken words.’
I wondered for a long time whether perhaps I was wired the wrong way. Perhaps before I touched down in my mother’s belly, some genetic components went missing altogether. I found a little scribble in a notebook that saddened me slightly.
‘Tell me why I always get what I want but not what I need. I am chasing sirens burning my heart out at shutter speed.’
Four years of notebooks and finally the greatest revelation of them all. I was never in pursuit of some magisterium of desire where whiskey flowed freely and the stadium was packed with tall, beautiful men. No, it is so much simpler than that. ‘To be a good human being is to have a kind of openness to the world, an ability to trust uncertain things beyond your own control” said Bill Moyes.
I was always in pursuit of meaning. The grander meaning to it all. Meaning and purpose hidden behind every minute, underneath every interaction. A meaning I could only codify through words, silences and music. I will leave you with the quote I splayed on the first page of latest notebook,
‘I am like a snake who has already bitten. I retreat from direct battle while knowing the slow effects of poison. ‘Anais Nin