Bloody friggen hell! Someone's gotta say it...no that's not the case actually - just I've gotta say it...
Just listened to Kathryn Ryan's interview with Martin Crowe about his journey through professional sports (being one of New Zealand's greatest batters) and through illness (having recently been treated for cancer)...a remarkable interview in that he has connected the emotional pressure and isolation of his drive to succeed in cricket, to the onset of his disease and his need to treat his whole being - to overcome the divide between mind and heart.
You can listen to it here
I could relate to a lot in this interview except for the fact that I haven't reached any great pinnacle by the world's standards and certainly not any that resided in the grandeur of my mind. I am, basically a failed musician.
You don't need to feel sorry for me - though sometimes I feel sorry for myself - i chose to some degree this path knowing that i would either make the big time (acclaim and financial success along the way) or i would be destitute and struggling - ok - aside from the fact that i live in a comparatively wealthy country i am struggling...but it is nothing compared to the years i have struggled with the drive to 'succeed' to 'make it' to achieve...and sometimes maybe because i haven't attained that the curse of it lingers.
Unlike Martin, I haven't come out the other end of a successful career having to face the cost of the driven mind...i am in danger of continuing to propagate that thinking - maybe this move, this change in approach will do it.
I have been somewhat stopped in my tracks though by an illness - a major eczema outbreak - not life threatening by any stretch - but i know well enough it is my body on some level saying - enough enough of this stress you are giving yourself.
I have just finished reading this book - among many others pointing me towards health - and it so clearly laid out the physical way that stress impacts on the body and on the immune system.
It also proposed that a lot of women with a particular type of symptoms have a link with their experience of needing to be good enough in a father's eyes, or of having a conflicted relationship with a father. That certainly has been my experience - actually mainly a lack of relationship with mine - certainly not without effort on my part and some on his (though he is from a generation where openness is awkward i guess).
I am currently well enough to look at this stuff - i'm not sure how i will - but i will...as i'm tired of talking about playing music and making music in a way that feels less like making a contribution to the planet and more like some unfinished business about 'making a name for myself' and building a career.
Unfortunately, the music industry is built on being successful - as probably most industries are - I haven't talked with many musos about this but i get the feeling that many get to a point in their lives where they need to deal with what they thought they might be and what it turns out they are - some seem to resign to it, some maybe opt out, some get bitter...i don't know - it's complicated and easy for musicians who write their own music especially to take it personal when they don't get more than 100 hits on a song posted on youtube. I've never been cool or hip, or happening in the time and in some ways i still haven't found my voice, the way to express my music - that may still be yet to come.
But i just wanted to out myself to at least myself that i don't want to hamstrung by a background voice that is concerned about whether i'm about to hit the big time or be relevant or be somebody on the music scene...
And i don't want the fact that i'm a 'failed' artist lure me into that mental trap any longer...