I find that walks tend to be one of the best ways to reflect at the days end. They are a meditative activity that allows my mind to rest. My best ideas seem to come to me while on a day’s end stroll. Almost as if the space I’ve made for my mind to relax gives me a small gift; a little seed of inspiration.
The small offerings a restful walk gives me are often overlooked. I think of the little scents in the air that draws out a well of rich memories. Or the way that the sky looks, or the way that the wind moves. When I allow myself to be human and rest, I find that the world tends to be a bit more magical and mysterious. This allurement will often lead to me bursting into song which in turn will lead to a brand new piece of art (take my song Mutineer for example).
Perhaps the lesson for myself is simple, inspiration is everywhere when I allow my mind to declutter and relax. When distracted by too many things, I end up choking my creativity, like weeds surrounding a young flower. Perhaps the lesson is more complex. Maybe the mental clarity and joy that I get on a stroll affects more than just my creative state but also touches at the very core of what it means to be human; I’m revelling in the creation around me.
In all honesty, I don’t really know. I think I’ll go for a stroll.
Two years ago the entire world shut down and artists made a productivity pact. It was an interesting time where creatives suddenly were undistracted by their daily work and were seemingly given a gift of uninterrupted time to dig into their creative pursuits.
I was among this group of artists with high hopes. I had plans to write meaningful songs, record albums, and finally launch a gainful career in the music industry. And yet, despite my plans to do so, it seemed almost as if the muse had gone mute. I had lost my words and my ability to write anything other than trite rhymes about surface level struggles. It seemed awfully cruel that my ability to write dissipated at the same time I gained the time I so desperately yearned for.
This phenomenon was not exclusive to my experience of the pandemic either. In my conversations with other like-minded artists I noticed that they often shared similar stories about creative drought; they conveyed almost a sense of, “the lost years,” in reference to the pandemic. It’s deeply puzzling. How could such an ambitious group of imaginative individuals return null after two years?
Honestly, this is a question I’ve been marinating in for quite some time (perhaps even two years!). I’m just slowly starting to form coherent thoughts about it now. My hypothesis is that, as creatives, we need time to process and we need people to process with. I think there was a reason why much of early pandemic art was, to use strong words, vapid and purely observational. Makers created pressure on themselves to design relevant pieces of art before they had time to process for themselves or in a community.
Now, I’m obviously generalizing as I know that there have been some amazing works of art that have sprung from the depths of quarantine. I do think, however, that on the tail end of the pandemic, we are just now starting to see more reflective work coming from the creatives of the world. I would not be surprised if some of the best art of this decade is crafted over the next few years, in the wake of an illness that isolated ever single one of us. I, for one, believe that I am seeing an end to my creative drought and I am so excited to get back to making meaningful art.
I’ve got a new tune coming up very soon (on the 16th of November, to be exact). It’s called Mutineer and it was a joy to write and produce. I am honestly elated that I have an opportunity to share my art with the world and I sincerely hope that it is enjoyed. I’ve got the artwork just below if you want a sneak peak.
It’s been a while since you’ve heard from me. I apologize for that.
In the background I’ve been slowly plugging away at some new pieces of work that range from singles, to an album, to a small chapbook of pandemic thoughts. As an artist and poet it’s my dream to make something that breaks the firmament of fiction and stirs a bruised soul. If my work does this for you, in any way, don’t hesitate to reach out. I’m listening.
I’m still here, my heart won’t shut the hell up so I guess I’ve still got lots to write, record, and make. Stay with me.