Bye 2016

Unreal year, huh? I find myself thinking about it a lot and like you, I can't believe most of what just happened.

I know I've had times in my life of true and pure, utter disbelief - but I will never forget watching the Election coverage in the daze of shock. And it grew as the minutes ticked by. At the shore before a tsunami, isn't it quiet? Perhaps not overstated, the pull of the tide out might be noticeable, but within the boundaries of acceptable. Those locals at the shore after the earthquake know better. They scan the deep part of the ocean, the ocean 3 miles out - the horizon ocean - for signs of what's to come. Is it getting choppy out there? What is Florida doing? Even the surfers are coming in. What is going on in Texas? The swelling. The gash over the left eye gets vaseline as the dominos fall. One, by one. The hemorrhaging is real now. But there is no tonic, there is no solution. You are on the right channel. It's too late to fix it.....If I may continue to mix metaphors - the rest of the night saw the boxer bleeding out. Hands down. Why are your hands down!! Swirling interrogation lights, canvas. What were we witness to? What is happening? The match was on pause. Surely there will be a catastrophic knock out blow. A mercy killing. They do that to dogs and horses. But things just stopped. In my apartment, anyway. I stayed up to watch Trump talk in the hotel and it was not real. To me the boxer just closed his eyes, and that was it. Where was the scramble? It's too late. The water's a quarter mile in now rushing past the tall buildings on 3rd Street and its rising. There's no letting up. It's irreversible. Everything is gone. It's too late. What can be done? All the might in the world. It's too late.

 

 Photo: Ivan Clow

Photo: Ivan Clow

Played some incredible shows this year. I'm thankful for all of you who came out. Packed more rooms than I'm used to seeing. And for those desolate shows, well, I gave you everything I had there, too. 

Studio work for the next record began in May. And for the next 6 months my personal life was bruised, battered, I couldn't tell what I felt. I often think of the 'peeling back layers of an onion' metaphor when I consider personal growth. A trench fight one yard at a time. One step, one inch. One layer. Work ebbed and flowed. Downhill slalom followed by full stop engine repair in the shop. I'm not going to say I should have known better. We're all just trying to do our best here I think. Hindsight is always 20/20 yeah. But I stomped on it through several red lights (figuratively speaking). I didn't choose to trust myself. I wasn't listening. I wanted and wished for a person to be different than they were. Have you ever been there? Probably. I was humiliated as bad as I ever have been, and it sent me dark spiraling. And then that same person assaulted me. My heart is beating out of my chest typing this. Shaky. Just recalling the fear. That person hitting my face. Wailing. It was the strangest thing - I remember...thin wiry Medusa-like hair. I'd never seen that before. Like a witch. And I don't use that word to be derogatory - I use it as a descriptor. Seared. I don't think about it anymore unless I'm thinking about it. Like now. Chased and thrown into a wall, I think a couple times. Just total disbelief. Defensive scars on my right wrist will remind me for a long time.

Even getting my face smashed, and while I was getting my heart ripped from me and the big reveal was happening - there was this compassion for the person I thought I knew. And a compassion and wish for peace for this troubled person now. I did not feel violence or retribution. I simultaneously accepted it and just wanted to leave. If you've been assaulted - is this normal? What is normal? Is there a normal for this?

I haven't spent any time rehearsing this, I wasn't for sure this was going to come out. I think I needed to put light on this just for the fact that I know I have to talk about it to reduce it’s power. And it was also a great big castle door ushering me into a phase of my life where I've been given the opportunity to up my 'forgiveness (freedom)' game, which was already strong. You wanna talk about peeling an onion. Christmas Eve 11pm service is candlelit. And this year especially...there were just a lot of waterworks, man. A faucet I couldn't turn off. Pastor said something about when you come up here you're gonna light a candle and say a prayer. Offer a grace, a mercy, a forgiveness, an out to someone. Stick it in the sand with the others. It was a really magical moment. A release for me. Two middle fingers to everything you did. You cannot touch me. I prayed for you. 

And that’s that, really. No that’s not all that happened to me this year. But that’s about as much of a journal entry as I’d like this to be for now. If you feel like you could use the info below - then use it. Shine your light, darkness always scatters.

www.thehotline.org 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)