Monday, January 07, 2008

Touching Passion and Playing it Safe


We're here on this mudball planet for a short time, a good 50 or so years of relative health if we're lucky. Viewed in a long term perspective, it's less than nothing.
So I think it's important to live out on the edge, to truly live like there might not be a tomorrow. I think seeing a good friend bash her head in and die in a horse accident when I was 18 had a lot to do with making me be aware of how quickly everything I am can vanish.
Add into that my intense Norwegian/Swedish decent, a family genetic disposition to being a smart ass bundle of energy fueled by coffee and sugar and restless discontent, and one gets a reputation for being a wild woman, a pain in the ass, a live wire, a free spirit, all those terms people who play it safe like to use to describe someone alive enough to make things complex.
It's gotten me in trouble, ejected from friendships and bands and jobs over the years. It's also allowed me to light things up, step loose from the safe road and figure out how to make peace with what I am.
I think passion and conflict and intensity are pretty much required for a vital life filled with music, art or whatever you pursue.
So it makes me a little crazy when I get surrounded by people who play it safe, who need rules and arrangements and who avoid conflict because they're weasels, chickenshits or frail vessels.
I even understand that fear of the unpredictable, that need to lock things down, although it taxes my patience to accept it in my pals.
But when it bugs me most is when something happens and people I thought I was communicating with and spent a lot of time working with just clam up, avoid dealing with anything uncomfortable.
Who don't tell me what they're thinking, or speak up and clear up things before they become big issues.
There's a cliche that friends help you move, but real friends help you move bodies.
I can understand that. But I think real friends tell you what you need to hear, don't shy away from listening to input and giving it back, and agree to disagree.
They sure as hell don't just vote you out of the tribe and then pretend nothing happened, or act like they're your friend while working against you.
I prefer a clean fight to sneaking around, would rather clear things up before they become real problems.
I guess that today's rainy foggy freakish weather and the conversations I had yesterday with some old bandmates has made me think about these things.
One of them standing right in front of me yesterday still didn't have the courage to actually say out loud she'd voted to remove me.
I wonder if she and the others got what they want, a nice safe band with no tension, no conflicts. And more than likely no chemistry, moments of great stupidity or bliss or connection.
I've got new music now, making last year's ugly seem less damaging, and I'm pretty happy with where I am musically. But I still miss the fire of playing with my longtime pal Bob up there on stage at the High Noon, ripping things up and feeling the big alive.
I guess what a lot of what I'm feeling boils down to thinking you should shoot your own dog when the time comes to end things, metaphorically speaking. Not be a sneak, a weasel or play the victim just because you're timid or uncomfortable around intense and passionate people.



1 comment:

Darwin said...

I feel your pain. Different people...but the story feels a lot the same.

So speaking of being up front instead of hiding...did you get my email about fixing my bandmate's amp? Can we come over some time and have you or your lady friend look at it? Or do you hate me? If you hate me...just let me know. People like to hate me but to never fill me in about it. Thanks!

"Sometimes a scream is better than a thesis." Ralph Waldo Emerson