Music Outside the Chrysalis

I’ve been reconnecting a good deal with my music – this endless pulse of color bouncing around my head.

I don’t play for people much, because most of my music is coming from deep within personal vaults. I’m more likely to share my carefully dissected spleen on some nice china with you. This gets misinterpreted a lot (the lack of sharing … not the spleen comment … though I’m sure that will get misinterpreted too at some point). I do occasionally open up those vaults to people to get their thoughts, but alas, the language barrier between my deepest soul and those around me is too much to overcome. I hesitate to say the music is misunderstood – in reality its just NOT understood. Someone says “Yeah, that’s cool … are there words?” and I feel frustrated. Who cares about words when I’m telling you that what you just heard is the music of my soul? I can’t expect people to appreciate that I’ve connected with myself in this way and see how its significant to me. It’s just selfish, I guess?

My writing is the same way. Its a vast ocean of resources that I can access and refine and use to power persistent worlds of my own devising. I don’t need everyone’s praise for the quality of my work, but I do want to feel that people understand how important my ability to access the creative fount is to me.

I have my own ideas and dreams and plans for how I fit in to life, not how life fits around me. Thirty-four years of adventure through pain, bliss, suffering, ecstasy, despair, hope, has built the island of Richard in this Universe – and that fortress is solid. Don’t paint me as a cold and selfish person though. There are entrances into this fortress built specifically for certain people that are inaccessible to anyone else. Those entrances penetrate straight to my soul. It’s important for me to know that people with access understand how important they must be to me to have such exclusive access. Additionally, just because the walls are thick and high, doesn’t mean the courtyard and common rooms aren’t open to anyone that wants to come in. I’ve had to build such a fortress to hold what I have deep inside within, not to keep other people out. The deepest recesses of this fortress hold the chrysalis containing my evolving self. One day, I won’t need that chrysalis and the paths to it will be open for all to behold this human I’ve become. For now, the outside world can only sample the pulse, sip tiny offerings of the flow, catch a passing whiff of strange air from the deep.

I feel obligated to admire those who can construct a song and have people proclaim “that’s my favorite song ever”. Obligated. I’ve listened to a great deal of music in my life. I grew up with it thudding in my ears at seedy bars I was dragged to as a child. I had it crammed down my throat by musicians trying to pass on the curse. I’ve had it dangled above me like some upper tier of society that I can reach only by being able to list the progression of music from Bach to Beck. I’ve fallen into week-long comas listening to bands that come closest to the music in my head. I’ve ridden waves of people to the beat of megabands, been spit on by outrageously shiny front men, stood agape at the power of a tiny chick’s voice blowing my hair back with her breath, fallen in a pit of boots stomping to the endless crush of metal … I have traveled far in this musicscape.

Label me if you wish – elitist, snob, hipster dufus, pseudo-musician, sunday-listener, com-poseur, hack, musical fascist …

What really matters to me is that I can pull what I hear in my head out and recreate it. I don’t care about cliques, genres, progenitors, kings, virtuosos, styles, rules, regulations, schools of thought – they don’t matter to me.

There are things that just exist, that defy explanation, that don’t warrant further dissection. There is the music which flows regardless of bands and frontmen and record labels and grammys, and there are the people that can tap into that flow and direct it outward or into personal reservoirs.

I am one of those people.

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