Please forgive my lack of posts. I was trying to produce a video for your viewing pleasure and discovered that technology was not working in my favor. I was hoping to release it Tuesday, but was unsuccessful. Then I hoped to release it today, but the process by which I am now doing things is not as speedy as I had hoped. But do not despair! A video is on it's way--it is coming! For now, though, there are always words.
Words saved my life. It wasn't that I didn't have friends or felt like an outcast. I had a group of very good friends and we would hang out during breaks and lunch, and successfully shelter each other from feeling like losers. It wasn't that my life was any more difficult than anyone else's. If anything, my life was probably more stable than most. It wasn't even the depression that settled in during my sophomore year and leached venom into my soul. I was never suicidal. There was too much to be done to be suicidal....But words saved my life.
Over the years, I had amassed a large collection of journals. Journals of all sizes and colors, various bindings and paper weights, with covers ranging from being plastered with 90's pop bands to being purple, furry and embroidered with unicorns. I had made many attempts at keeping a journal. Actually, I recently looked over what I had written in some of those bedazzled books and found many only sparsely used for entries of mundane nature. For the longest time, I thought the blank pages were supposed to be filled with each day's activities as a sort of log to be looked at in a hundred years and give some poor, probably very bored, soul a glimpse of what my life was like. But, in high school, that changed.
In high school, I started to get serious about songwriting. And when I got serious about songwriting, I realized I needed to get serious about my feelings. More than recording what I did, I needed to record how I felt. I needed to put my feelings in a form I could work with--a form I could review, analyze, return to, draw from--and, my goodness, there were a LOT of feelings.
The plight of the American teenager is pretty well-documented, so I will refrain from repeating, but know that I was not immune to it. I wrote about it. I vented it. I put it down in red ink in a journal with a vintage cereal mascot on its cover. Sometimes it helped immediately. More often than not, it didn't feel like it did very much. But it gave me a sort of ritual that I could do when things got emotional. It gave me a way to step back from my feelings, find patterns, find solutions, find...poetry--raging, rough, wild poetry that only comes out when you are not worried about making sense but lose if you don't write it down. And from this poetry I learned to find songs.
Words saved my life, because my veins pulse with poems and when my spirit bleeds, words clot the wounds and tell me how to heal. Words saved my life, because I could depend on them to be there when my friends went home and the world seemed to walk out on me. But most importantly, words saved my life, because they brought me life. They led me to my passion and they showed me that everything I needed to follow that passion was already within me.