A while ago I had the privilege of attending one of the best concerts I've ever been to. This morning as I was curled up with my coffee, a good book and music created by my amazingly talented friend, I was reminded how much I need creative people in my life. The post I wrote then resonates with me now.
This one is for all the creative people, the writers and musicians and painters and anyone who creates in any capacity. Thank you for creating. The world needs you. I need you.
People pay for concert tickets to be entertained. I come to be inspired. I sit before the artist, hands open wide, holding out my heart and saying “Can you open this for me?”
The best ones can. The best ones take a wild swing and crack open the rough exterior enough for me to feel something for a designated period of time. The ones that can’t allow me to walk away feeling disappointed, clinging to any and all belief that art is like a stripper of the soul.
As I sat in that chair, pressed between my mother and a stranger, hot, sticky and sweaty bodies crowding into a stadium the very size of an NHL hockey arena, nothing else mattered. At least that’s what I told myself.
For the next 90 minutes I let the music flow through me like a drug, let it slip all tension from my veins into its medicating chill.
I think rock concerts are a little bit like church. I think one of the ways I experience God isn’t when His people are gathered together singing His name, though surely in that too, but when hundreds of strangers come together to drink and laugh and celebrate good music.
For the next few hours it doesn’t matter that I normally wouldn’t say hello to the woman on my left if I passed her on the street. It doesn’t matter that I’ll never see 99% of these people again. It doesn’t matter that when tomorrow comes the band will move on to inspire a new city of wanna-be-believers and the woman on my left will return to her dead end job she hates and the guy sitting in the aisle below me will still go home alone after breaking up with his girlfriend and the young girl over there with her hand’s in the air will go back to a school where she’s bullied day in and day out for being different, or that when tomorrow rears its head I will march with all the false bravery I can muster into a doctor’s office and pretend I am not scared to death. What matters is that we have tonight.
Cell phone flashlights lighting up the stage and loud, off key, drunken singing and I want to know what it would be like to be an artist who inspires this many people. I want to make people forget about tomorrow and live in the moment, to truly feel something – maybe for the first time – and to laugh and kiss and make messes and make art and make babies (and how maybe all of these are the same thing).
Tonight it doesn’t matter who we are before we walked in the door. We’re all united, coming together for one purpose. And I think that’s a lot like church. I think it’s every chapel and cathedral I want to worship in. I think it’s every mind blowing, good song that makes me want to believe in better things that I want to dance to.
I want to play these songs blasting in the car on my way to work and remember this moment, and how alive I felt, and how nothing else mattered because I had right now.
Creative people inspire me.
Their passion is contagious and their dedication infectious and their excitement makes me delirious. It makes me want to stay up all night crafting something that really matters with my own two hands that I can look at in the morning and whisper in holy reverence, “My God, did I really make that?”
It makes me want to feel, and to capture that exact feeling on a notebook or a canvas or my kitchen wall.
Creative people inspire me to create. They inspire me to feel, to be present, to live and laugh and love and not worry about getting hurt along the way because even a few bruises make damn good art.
Their creative energy passes through them into me like it’s a form of osmosis, like a blood transfusion, and I know to them I’m just another face in the crowd but I want to grab the face of the lead singer and look into his eyes and tell him thank you for daring to create bravely.
Because the world needs more people to come alive, to truly say what they think and think what they say and to let their thoughts and feelings be the lifeblood that guides them. Because I need them. I need more people awake and alive, daring greatly and failing miserably and then trying again bravely all in the name of good art. I need them standing around me continuing to create and inspiring me with words and pictures and lyrics and beats, because it’s like they are standing around me with hands up, keeping me safe and reminding me to do my thing.
Us artists, we’re a special breed, one I feel honored to be among. I feel honored to be a part of the movers and shakers of this world who want more beauty and light and unity and feeling. The genuine souls, the ones that create bravely, are the kind of people I want to surround myself with. The intimacy created between you and a few thousand strangers, that’s what I want to witness over and over again, letting it change me.
I want to be around people who birth beautiful things: even when it’s hard, even when the world says you should quit. It inspires me to keep writing my own birth story, to gently shepherd out this huge story blossoming inside my ribcage.
I want my life to be this story, this art, this creation. I want every moment I am alive and breathing to bear witness to the fact that I lived and loved and maybe I failed but at least I tried.
And with every broken bone, I swear I lived