this is a song lyric of mine. i made this image a while ago. and the past few days, it’s haunted me. really, really haunted me.
i don’t know how much of the news has spread to wherever you are, but last friday a major fire in oakland claimed the lives of at least 30 artists, musicians and music fans gathering to hear live electronic music at an artist collective warehouse.
these are friends of friends of mine, here in the bay area. there’s footage of my friends weeping in the streets, broadcast on CNN. there’s friends who lost several — SEVERAL — friends in the span of minutes. my facebook feed is chock full of safety checks, desperate pleas for info and memorial posts. there’s community grieving and calls for action.
i’m thinking of the duo Introflirt. its two members are still unaccounted for. i can’t wrap my head around the thought of a band ceasing to exist because its members ceased to exist. i pray to god they’re ok, but the prospects do not look good. i’m just so heartbroken and shaken.
and i wonder what would have happened if it were me.
and i wonder how much of my music, my purpose, would be lost to the world.
when i go, so will my unfinished songs.
that’s why my brain is returning to this line.
art in my head doesn’t count.
if i ceased to exist tomorrow, and my music isn’t out in the world, that’s it. that’s the end.
i can’t let that happen.
not everyone is afforded the privilege of being alive and creative. and so, in honor of those who died, i am going to stake my claim and say yes. yes, i’m alive and i’m going to do something with that privilege. yes, i believe in my music. enough to risk everything. yes, i will create while i still have the chance.
this fire has brought some soul-searching and much needed perspective. and i’m committing, recommitting, and will recommit again, to make sure the art i have in my head does not remain there.
that’s not what art is meant to do.