I’m stoked to have a book signing event at Indigo North, London, Ontario this Saturday afternoon. I’ve had a burning desire to write a book, well, for as long as I can remember. As a child, books did something magical for me. Contained in their pages were, at first, pictures, then words, and then, once the words were understood, there were worlds. Worlds of possibility.
Recently, singer-songwriter Tom Wilson, from Hamilton, Ontario, reminded me of my purpose, but he did it in reference to music.
Why do we make music? Lots of reasons flood to mind, don’t they? We feel something, good or bad or mediocre, and need to express it. And let’s face it, some people have an incredible gift, with an instrument, and/or a voice – like the winner of The Voice last night. Sawyer Fredericks is just 16-years-old! Nj.com describes him as “an old soul” with “Pantene ad locks”. Singer-songwriter Ray LaMontagne (Supernova) wrote Please for him and it’s already number two on iTunes.
Wilson, of musical groups Lee Harvey Osmond, Blackie and the Rodeo Kings and Junkhouse, suggested this reason for making music: “To open the doors of possibility.”
I was feeling a bit heady when Wilson said this. It was a couple of weeks ago and I was attending the Canadian Music and Broadcast Industry Awards at The Sheraton in Toronto with B. I’d just finished mauling Bryan Adams – he was deservedly given the Allan Slaight Humanitarian Spirit Award – for a photo. (I hope he didn’t mind. I sure didn’t.) And a bit later, B got to meet Margo Timmins of the Cowboy Junkies and effusively tell her how much he enjoyed her voice lulling him off to dreamland on so many nights. (B hopes she didn’t mind. He sure didn’t.)
Wilson was inducting the Cowboy Junkies into the Hall of Fame and I realized a couple of things. The long-haired hippy freak standing at the podium was the same one who’d had his arm around my brother-in-law Andrew, also a musician, in a recent Facebook post. I know who that guy is now! I thought.
And he speaks eloquently. I paid attention.
Wilson made me remember and extrapolate. If music opens doors of possibility, what about writing? What about art? What about building? What about any creative act?
Why do we make anything?
It’s just so very exciting, isn’t it? To think that the things we make on a daily basis, often under mundane circumstances, in mundane environments – you know, rise up, pee, brush teeth, eat something healthy, read the paper, then get thy butt to an office, a studio, a patch of soil – are seeds that, when nurtured, grow and grow and grow. Into what? Who knows? Who cares? It’s possibility!
Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat Pray Love, views creative inspiration this way: “Something unknown is doing we don’t know what.” It’s a quote from Sir Arthur Eddington, British astronomer, physicist and mathematician. I love it because of the freedom it generates. We don’t need to know.
As Van Morrison sings, in The Mystery: “Let go into the mystery, let yourself go. There is no other place to be, baby this I know. You’ve got to dance and sing, and be alive in the mystery. And be joyous and give thanks, and let yourself go.”
I let myself go, into the mystery, and created Long Climb Back. My grief journey made more clear to me, yes, and, hopefully, a world of possibility to the grievers and believers out there.
Hope you can drop by to say hi on Saturday.