Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Straight Hustlin' Like Steady B

I'm gettin' older - and gettin' better with time /
And rhyme after rhyme, I'm gonna get mine /

Hustlers gotta hustle.

For everything in life, there is a season. Every friendship has a duration. Every relationship has a time limit. We may not be done with friends when friends are done with us. Or vice versa.

I've been bar-down, pedal-down for months now. I still haven't really unpacked my brain from the colossal cross-country music trip that I experienced. I've been playing music like mad and climbing all over the fretboard and leaving ink entrails all over my songbook. And I haven't stopped. And I continue to go.

I try to climb into bed at the same time. I get up really early. I check the lumber inventory of a truck. I check it again. And then I check it a third time. And then I criss-cross and careen all over the city and countryside of the Valley like an unpredictable and loud, deflated balloon. Typing in this forum seems like an exercise of futility, and yet, I still make myself do it once in a while. Obviously, I've fallen off the wagon of my intent to blog every day this year, but hey - we all need to fall off wagons once in a while.

We all need to taste the dirt of our shortcomings and cut our lips on the cold, hard ground of the unforgiving world. It's alright.

I used to take solace in the simple things in life. And to an extent, I think I still do, but I'm caught in a cycle. I can remember getting a Steady B tape when I was a kid, and I marvelled at it. His beats. His lyrical flow. His black and white pin stripe outfit. And even now, I see his point - Hustlers gotta hustle. There is no time to slack. We need to make our lives, and get busy building the structures that support our dreams.

I still don't know exactly what I'm looking for, but as I get older, and I continue to hustle, and fight against the slackerdom of my youth, I realize that at the absolute minimum - at least I'm figuring out what I don't want.

And although I believe in being reckless and daring to take a risk, I no longer want to be surrounded by people who are reckless with their emotions. And by reckless, I mean so self-focused that they are blind to the ripple effect of their actions upon the shores of their loved ones. No matter the age. Or the experience level. It's not fair to me. And it's not fair to them. It's not fair to anyone.

Hustling is love.

And so, I hustle on. Rhyme on, Steady.

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

The Ship Sails On

“You must love in such a way that the person you love feels free.”
― Thích Nhất Hạnh

It's early. Quiet. The birds have barely started their songs and I find myself wide awake on a morning where I should be enjoying the last embers of precious sleep before I hit the lumber yard for another day of upside-downery. 

At the start of the year, I set out to write more. I set out to let the words out, and to loose them from the cage of my being on to the wild, sprawling pages of life. In some ways, I've failed in that endeavour. I know I've been busy, and blah blah blah, touring, blah blah blah, working full time, and more blah-dom, but that's no excuse. Writing is therapeutic for me, and I'm convinced that when I'm doing it often, it makes me a better person. 

While bending my back amidst the many stacks of western red cedar and pine and cherry and maple, I've had a lot of time to think. At times, I find myself thinking of friendship and evaluating exactly what that word means. Sure - friends should be accepting, and understanding and always loving, but there has to be an edge to that cliff. Otherwise, we run the risk of continually putting ourselves in harm's way. 

If someone continually makes specific plans and fleshes out dreams for you to be involved with, but then backs that really a friend? Sure - we all have different paths and different roads to hoe - but enough is enough. After a while, you can only feel like a fool who keeps getting duped and falling for tricks for so long until you lash out. 

I'm pissed off. I've got a screwdriver stuck in my soul. If I want to get vocal on my personal page about the things that bother me, but I feel censored, where else can I turn?

So much of this life is a waiting game. We wait. We tell ourselves that we are not going to, but we do anyways - because we believe that something good is coming down the pipe. We create projects. We look forward to shit. We make plans. We psyche ourselves up. And then, boom - the letdown comes. And that is true in so many ways. Not just in lost friends, but in everything. Disease. Lost love. Heartache. Suffering. 

The hard truth is that we are only here for a flicker of a flame, and we can only outlast the wind for so long.

Yes - love should be free. I know that all too well. But sometimes, love needs to be tough, and this is one of those revelational moments. 

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