Warning: If you have an artist-friend, your normal conversations might eventually turn into a piece of art.
One evening a friend and I were sipping on some fantastic drinks at one of my favorite bars in Tacoma. (Hilltop Kitchen for the win!)
Listen, I don’t play favorites with my cello students, but if their mom gives me homemade mac & cheese and takes me out to happy hour occasionally, you won't hear me complain. ;)
On a weekly basis over the two previous years, this cello-mom-turned-friend had witnessed almost every element of my life change. & Not all those life-changes were welcomed, in fact most of them weren’t.
I'll explain more of that in a later post... But isn’t it so wonderful to have people who will cry with you when you have bad news? I mean, come on.
I HATE BEING A VICTIM, but sometimes that's the way it all feels. & That night, as I was relaying just one more thing in my life slipping away from my grasp (I lost count of which one it was...) she just stopped me and declared...
“Well aren’t you just covered in clovers?!”
I agreed, since that sounded both lovely and terrible at once, “But what you mean?”
“Oh, you remember Dr. Seuss’ story about Horton the Elephant, don’t you?”
I nodded, “Yes...”
“Well, right now you’re sitting in a field of clovers going through them one by one trying to find that one clover holding Whoville.”
I laughed, agreed, and then immediately apologized for texting during our time together... I was writing down the “Song Seed” before it, too, got away from me.
This Hilltop conversation was the inspiration for the song “Horton’s Hope” (video below!) There was something magically appropriate about this whimsical story when tied to my life.
& I know I’m not the only one.
Ideas, loved ones, careers, love, hope, happiness, spirituality... You've found something revolutionary, only to have it taken from your grasp time and time again. I know I’m not the only one. In some ways, we're all trying to find that one clover with the speck of magic dust. Trying to find again the one clover that holds an entirely different way of life.
And although the Dr. Seuss story is often seen as a commentary on something larger and more culturally aimed (aka the bombings of Hiroshima & Nagasaki,) I wanted to point to something smaller with this song...
All the time I hear non-artists and artists alike make excuses for, explain away, or crack jokes about their weirdness, their perpetual poverty, their against-the-grain mentalities. It’s disheartening really. (Especially when I’m the one making the comments - I am the farthest thing from a saint.)
In my mind, those of us that have found art, expression and community have found our “Whoville.”
When we crack jokes about, expect, or even minimize the struggle of the pursuit, it can later feel like you just tossed it in a field of other empty clovers. You have to “find it” all over again.
A life filled with art, beauty, expression (i.e. community & shared experiences) is the thing that enriches life and makes us see the world for what it can be, not just for what it already seems to be.