“What are you afraid of right now?”
I’ve been working on a project for the last few months with three dear friends & that was the question our fearless leader in the group threw out at us the other day.
My answer? Friendships. I’m afraid that this project will eventually kill my friendships with those three individuals. But that hasn’t made me walk away yet. Because even though that is a deeply rooted fear of mine, I still believe some of the most powerful ideas come to life in community. I believe that vision born out of community is perhaps one of the most beautiful creative gifts on the planet. The synergy of relationship, heart, skill, & vision is undeniably powerful. Rooted in bold humility I believe it has the power to be truly life changing in ways we can’t even imagine.
I’ve been trying for the last several months to reconcile that fear & that deeply rooted belief of mine. And honestly, I’ve made next to zero progress. But after voicing that fear with those friends today, I’ve realized that perhaps it’s not about reconciling the fear but about pushing on in spite of it.
The truth is that with the right perspective, fear doesn’t stop me, it simply keeps me in check.
Do you let your fears stop you? Or do you view them as guardrails to guide you on the journey?
It’s Sunday evening. A pleasantly cool spring breeze drifts in through an open window. 12 no longer strangers, not yet friends have broken from conversation to indulge in what, for many of them, is a first love. Some are trying to make it, others gave up on that dream long ago, & still others never wanted that in the first place. But for this moment in time music brings them together.
In a city like Nashville where at times it seems that every second person you meet is a “wannabe rockstar,” social gatherings can be filled with a lot of pretense. You may be picturing a room full of these “wannabes” & thinking that’s no place you’d want to be. I wouldn’t either.
But every so often, you stumble upon true artists. Musicians who are not only extremely talented but who would create music even if they never earned a penny from it. Musicians who write songs & pick up an instrument because it’s in their blood. Music is art for them & art is life. Put people like this…people to whom music is sacred…in a room together & pretense disappears.
Those are moments like that Sunday night when strangers, united by a love of music, become friends. Moments when each artist’s talent is celebrated. When it’s not about a spotlight but about collaboration…a challenge to see what kind of a freestyle song the group can create together…in the moment. A song that will likely never end up on any record or be sung from any stage. Yet it is art. Perhaps even art in its purest form.
This pure art is what inspires me. It’s what makes the hair on my arms stand up, takes the breath out of my lungs, & leaves me fighting back tears. And when I stop to think about why I’m left with one answer: vulnerability. In those moments of raw creation emotions are vulnerable, hearts are put on the line. It seems to me this group of almost friends understands the sacredness & beauty of such moments, & doesn’t take their power lightly.
It’s experiences like this that remind me at my core why I believe in the power of beauty & art. Why I believe that beauty & art are sacred gifts. And why I believe that we as artists have a responsibility to employ them.