Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The Bricklayer

When I first began to write music, the lyrics would find me at odd times of the night and would not allow me to sleep until they were put to paper. The music would enter my head but the drive to have it put down was not the same. I was still young, and very undisciplined, and my mind found far to many distractions. At first I planned to put my songs to music but lacked to time and would do it later. When I had the time, I realized I lacked the proper instruments. Later I was able to buy a few different instruments. Then I realized that I lacked the proper recording equipment. No matter how far I progressed, I always lacked a cable, a machine, a device, or some technique.
For years these barriers followed me and no matter how hard I pursued music, new walls seemed to be built in front of me. How is it that one man can have so many obstacles for so small a thing, I wondered?
And then one night the power went out in the apartment and none of the devices, machines, or fancy equipment worked. There were no lights to read by or any other form of entertainment. I reached for my acoustic guitar. Now this acoustic guitar was not an expensive model with grand tone, made from exotic wood from an exotic location. It was a budget guitar. I grabbed my guitar in the dark and thought of all the walls in front of me. It was then I could see the concrete on my own hands. I had built those walls. I feared the progress. Somewhere inside I feared going outside of the known. I had learned the comfortable music. The music in my head was not comfortable. It did not conform to theory and scales that I had studied. And so I vowed to never study the music theory that I had worked so hard to learn for years. I would not live in the "box". The music in my head did not live there and that was why I could not find it. I had been laying bricks in confusion, creating my own suffering rather than taking the harder road.
That night I started with the lowest string and I began all over again. No more complex jazz chords and theory. I wanted to find the tones in my head. I wanted to find the tones that lie in the strings, in the guitar, and in my skin. With trial and error, month after month, starting with a night in darkness, I learned how to sing my own tune.
We watch others lay the bricks in front of them and then ask why they don't make progress. We know the reason. When we focus on our own lives, we fail to have this insight and become the bricklayer. We find the pleasure and then build the wall and find the pain, only to tear it down and find the pleasure again. This distraction keeps us busy until the gray hairs set it and Father Time calls for us to merge with the soil. Perhaps we should all choose to stop this profession. There is no future in it.



At 5:43 PM, Anonymous mahala said...

A beautiful post.

I would love to hear what you created. Then again, possibly your words are music enough.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home