It's over a decade since I last had a committed relationship with music. I walked away, teary eyed, shoulders drooping, feeling betrayed and dejected. That was the first phase of the breakup. Then I got pissed. Really angry. I was filled with hurt and remorse. Music had done me wrong. Music seduced me, made all sorts of promises, made me feel happy and tingly inside, and then POOF! It was gone.
I mean, it would still hang around, occasionally ask me out for a drink or two, give me glimmers of hope that we could still get back together again. But it just wasn't meant to be. And I was left feeling insecure, unworthy and stupid.
Did I just imagine what there once was between us?
What about those heady, song-filled nights that went on forever ... sparks of creativity that turned into roaring flames ... happiness like I had never thought could be possible ... that enthralling feeling it gave me, that I could be anyone and achieve anything.
How could I have been so wrong?
I wasted a lot of time hating music. Ruing the way it made me feel. Oh what a fool I was ... left behind like some sort of one hit wonder. Music gave up on me.
Then some time passed.
I reluctantly found other ways to spend my days and my nights. I was in constant denial. I took the mind over matter approach. It wasn't ever going to be, so fuck it ... I was going to do my best not to care. But there was always this hole in my heart that I knew could only be filled by one thing.
Fast forward (without music). If aging doesn't make you any wiser, you probably should just pack it in. Call it a revelation. Call it going through a lot of major life challenges in recent years. But I've recently realized something I probably have known in the back of my head for quite some time: Music didn't give up on me. I gave on me.
Life didn't go the way I thought it was supposed to. Ha! Get out the violins and cry me a river. I'd become the person I have fought so hard (at least in my mind) NOT to become. A person who grows old with bitterness and regret. (Yo! Don't laugh. I'm telling it like it is. I'm spillin' my guts here. Say it like a New Yawker!)
Where did this revelation come from? Clarity in a time of COVID? All of a sudden it is so clear to me. I have been sitting in a room in my house I not-so-affectionately call my office (ha!) and I have been going through papers, and looseleaf notebooks filled with letters and lyrics and chord charts and photos. I have found musical memories that I though were lost long ago. I am listening to tapes and CDs of songs I've written or performed over the past 40+ years of my life, and it's like I'm taking all of this in for the first time. I can barely breathe!
Holy shit! We had somethin' going there - music and me! Something pretty damn extraordinary. And it didn't leave! It never fucking left! (It's okay to curse when you're in the midst of a revelation, by the way.) That's the most amazing realization, ever! It's still here. (Hi there old pal ... sorry I said so many bad things about you ...) Just waiting for me to get off of my ass and do something about it. Waiting for me to stop telling myself: It's too late. I'm too old. Why bother?
Well okay, music. Okay writing. Okay creativity. Have it your way. I'm gonna try my damndest to stop listening to the me of the past 10 years. I'm gonna try to open my mind to new thoughts and possibilities. The Eyore in me is rolling its eyes and thinking: oh great. now I'll get hit by a truck tomorrow.
So here I go, what the hell. Even if I do get hit by a truck tomorrow. I've resurrected my website. I'm working on it. That's a start. Do you know that after I let my "benitakenn.com" site lapse about 10 years ago, someone bought the domain name and tried to sell it back to me for over $1,000 ?! The moral of that story, is if you wait long enough, anything can happen. On July 26, 2020, I got my damn domain name back for free! If that's not a sign from the universe, then I don't know what is.
And hey ... you know who you are. Thanks for cheering me on and being patient with me during this 10+ year hiatus I've taken. Cross your fingers for me that this new found enlightenment will stick around for a while.
Keep fighting those windmills. I will if you will.