I have to be honest. It’s been a bad run this year. I’m not having an easy-go. They say that some people will face adversity by simply rolling over and dying, but I’m not sure how to go about doing this. It seems to me this is one of those things like selling your soul; I’d love to do it if only it were real. I’ve tried simply rolling over, but I usually get bored and come on here.
I was friends with a girl in college who had a very rigid philosophy of art, love, fairness, and music. And didn’t we all know that girl in college? This one was special. She had one of those personalities that made her essence contagious. And she loved a musician named Jonah whose previous bands included Far and Onelinedrawing. For those locals who remember Koo’s Cafe, it was literally a house in Anaheim where at night the living room was converted into a stage/floor and the driveway a makeshift lobby. Jonah was performing on a night in which this young lady and I had made plans go, but decided to stop prior to the show to do the whole Denny’s thing.
It was sometime between coffee and pie that she noticed this gentleman walk through the front door, road-worn, clutching some bags and accompanied by another young lady who wore a bright red scarf. “That’s Jonah!” She exclaimed, “I have to go talk to him.”
She spent about 10 minutes blubbering to this guy about his music, what it meant to her, and how much his songs spoke to the things in life she was going through. And after all this, she took a button from her coat and handed it to him. It read “I Am Loved”. She asked that he play a song that night, one of her favorites, and they parted ways…but not before my friend was approached by the woman in the red scarf. She very discreetly said to her, “I think you just made his night. He’s been talking about quitting all week.”
And that night in the living room at Koo’s Cafe, Jonah recalled the encounter with my friend, and told a similar story about having met Thom Yorke of Radiohead. He flashed his “I Am Loved” button, and played the song my friend had requested.
I’m always curious as to why we pursue these dreams which work against our own best interests. Any artist, whether writer, screenwriter, musician, poet, painter, director, etc. encounters numerous signs along the road that tell them to give up, turn around, and forget about it. So why do we continue? Why do you continue? What motivates you to push forward when all rationale tells you to call it quits?