Monday, October 25, 2010

Sling beers, burgers and then create something

Stability is a sound secure thing. It's attainable. Go to law school to be a lawyer. Go to nursing school to be a nurse. Be a teacher, a doctor, a plumber, a chef, be a stable piece of the American workforce. And sometimes this is my desire. To start all over again and be a mechanic. Wake up every morning and put on a standard grey-blue shirt, dark slate slacks, and black boots. Go to work. Hear complaints about noises, jerks, and smells. Get my hands deep and dirty inside of an engine. Find out what's wrong and repair it. Scrub my hands with a gritty, orange scented shop-soap and then every evening at 5:25 climb into my truck and drive home--- happy because I fixed something and there is beautiful black grit underneath the tips of my fingernails to prove it.

But turning back now is too easy. I've got this dream. This need to create. I love radio, sounds, music, recording, the wave form that is the picture of what is captured, editing, crafting the segments together, and most of all I love every story of every person. A story is a living creature. It is born every time a person tells it. A person's story is what makes a minute, an hour, a day, a season, a life. I want to learn and explore so many things: the issues of society, current events, struggles, discoveries, death, birth, adolescence, grieving, fear, reflections ... the list has no end.

The challenge is staying disciplined. Unlike the careers of most, being what it is that I want to be --- a mesh of documentarian, story teller, creative non-fiction writer, producer and something else not yet known--- is with out a definite career path. As I grow so will my career and portfolio which is why I have to keep myself in check; learn how to balance two jobs in bars and restaurants and to set deadlines for myself. Holding yourself accountable to no one but yourself is one of the most challenging tasks in life. Sure, I could go to journalism school or get a MFA in a media study but being a college graduate of the recession I can't bring myself to go into another level of student loan debt and this work isn't about education. It's about experience. Life. This work is a type of art.

Mark Vonnegut, a writer with whom I share a common battle with, recently wrote,

"Art is lunging forward without certainty about where you are going or how to get there, being open to and dependent on what luck, the paint, the typo, the dissonance, give you. Without art you're stuck with yourself as you are and life as you think life is."

So here is to the artists who work so they can create work. Never stop.

"Lament" by Mount Moriah. This is Heather McEntire's new project. She is a woman who never ceases to create beautiful moments.