What shaped you? I was shaped by tacos, Mexican sweet breads, and stories. For the sake of this post, let’s say stories did most of the heavy lifting.
When I was a boy, I wrote comic strips about robots and time travelers. I saw vehicles lining the base of the rolling hills in the Southwest corner of Wyoming. Interstate I-80. I wondered where they were going, and how each one of those drivers had a story. I pondered on direction and destination often. My childhood of watching interstate travelers zip back and forth is one that fostered a fascination with time and distance, set against a backdrop of western landscapes from bygone eras. It really felt like a place stuck in time while all others moved along.
At the end of the day, I would listen to the highway traffic fleeing into a bold, amber horizon, and only the humming of the road lingered. I listened for more so I could feel whole.
Time and distance influenced my pursuits and worldview because I was in the proper conditions to be shaped by them. I listened so attentively that here we are:
I’m still obsessing over the gulfs between fictional lovers, friends, communities, and all others who push to create distance between the truth and themselves. I write about that.
I’m still lamenting the cruelty and magic of time, and how the craft of capturing those and that which is bound to leave us, is the greatest gift of all. I want to capture that joyfully and honestly.
This is why I listen, and write, and record. Why do you make stuff? What shaped you? Leave a comment or drop me a line! I’d love to hear how you came to be an artist.
My cats seriously brought on the banter today, throwing up and tumbling over chairs as I tried to discuss how we can get an outline done if we only overcome fear. This is what I get for recording at lunch time. Hope you had a Happy Halloween!!!
The Working Songwriter is a podcast from musician Joe Pug. I had the great pleasure of seeing him live at the Oyster Ridge Music Festival and he just blew me away. His craft and presence as he delivered such beautiful songs left a good dent in my heart. A truly memorable time was had! I’ll be checking the backlog of his podcast episodes, in which he interviews fellow songwriters and discuss the craft of songwriting.
Regarding the Steppenwolf revival of True West, the most influential play of my playwriting life. I would have killed to see this play in the flesh on that Chicago stage in 1982.
This year, working on getting my poetry back on track has been a priority. Starting with the basics as I get to know how I can work in the medium and what I can do to get better, and more resilient. Here’s a little recap I found of Pablo Neruda I liked.
And I leave you with a great tune that hit VH1 when I was growing up, obsessed with music videos. Also, a 90s RDJ starring in a peculiar, one shot video. Have a great weekend, friends.