For the past week, I’ve enjoyed seeing I Won’t Give Up sit at the top of the iTunes most downloaded songs, and in such good company. I’ve also been floored by some of the covers already gracing the pages of the internet. Like the beautiful freakies at the bottom of this post.
That song, along with the World As I See It, are the first of a dozen you’ll soon hear on a new studio album – an album about love; what one does in love to make it work, and what one does in love when it’s time to let go.
Since it’s inception I’ve referred to this collection of songs as the makings for “the Love album.” I’ve held onto a love inspired image for the album cover for the past two years. The image hangs on my wall. It’s etched onto my water bottle. It’s inlaid into a stone path that connects my home to my studio. It’s even painted on the side of my house. And over the past two years the concept and compositions have managed to collage them selves around the image. Thankfully, my vision board, to the best of my ability, is complete.
Music is the medium I use to recover from life’s often deafening blow. I constantly reawaken thru music. The act of making music is how I tune in and/or tune out to solve life’s puzzles, trying to make the most sense of that which I can’t seem to stop questioning. In life there are problems. In music, if not a direct answer, comes a divine perspective.
On this album my intention was to sing about what love is. The giving. The receiving. The Ups and Downs… And at first that seemed a fairly simple task. Almost every song I’ve ever written is about love or because of love. In some ways I thought this album would be easier than others to manifest.
But as I dove deeper, defining love grew a daunting task. What did I really know about love? Who am I to be so bold as to take this on? Ah, there’s the rub. Do you love yourself enough to be okay in every situation? So much so that no matter what you say you can have no attachment to how It and you are received?
After much exploration, listening, learning, letting go – A voice inside offered “Get out of your head and into your heart. Go be of service. In service you will find love. In service you will BE LOVE.” These are the thoughts that led me to tour again in 2011. By combining live shows with outreach and adventure, one gets his own greatness from others’ smiling faces.
In my travels I asked many what Love meant to them. For some it meant being love no matter what – expanding one’s capacity to love, regardless of circumstances – never giving up – loving what is difficult to understand – serving – accepting.
I began also to view love as the language everything speaks in the natural world. The essence of all there is. The sun for instance is perhaps our greatest source of love. It gives and gives and gives and never burns out. When a tree grows tall and its leaves reach for the sun, they too are sending their love and gratitude right back out into the world, paying love forward to others. Trees give us and many creatures food, shelter, and warmth. Animals, like humans, continue to serve and protect and share with one another. And so on goes that circle.
“There is only love. Everything else is our resistance to it.” – Terces Engelhart
Birds fill the skies with their complex music while dolphins and whales keep the seas flowing with their songs, which some consider to be the songs that contain the recorded history of the earth. All have a message to all. And at the root of every thought, is love.
To me, any creative act is love. Ever since the big bang, the universe, this earth, this civilization, has been some version of Love expressing itself. The word I use so commonly – Love – is so much smaller than what It actually is. It’s one of the greatest forces in the universe – yet it can’t be measured, let alone defined – yet that which propels us forward in thought, in action, can only be this One thing. (and still “One thing” sounds so small, when in fact “One thing” is everything, the sum of all parts.)
Child Educator & TV legend Mr Roger’s tried to warn us at a young age when he said, “understanding love is one of the hardest things in the world.” Thanks for heads up Fred.
I am happy and in love with who I am today. I found what I needed in myself to sustain an experience of love no matter where i am, no matter who I surround myself with. Whether I’m alone or among hundreds in a crowd, I am present to the power of love and the impact it has through all of life.
Love is life.
And now after two years seeking, celebrating and sorrowing, I finally have a record to share with the world. And what I figured out in the end is that Love isn’t always a pink heart on a valentine’s card. It’s also what breaks you apart when someone passes away as you lose the opportunity to share your eyes and adoration with that person.
Love is and will always be multi-faceted. It’s comedy in the face of tragedy. It’s romance on the deck of a sinking ship. It’s where the sacred meets the silly. It’s having compassion for your enemies and being nice to the dining room table after you’ve stubbed your toe. It’s what turns you inside out and makes you go nuts, like having a song stuck in your head for months, but you know it’s not a song at all. It’s your life.
Therefore, in summary, if you ask me what love is. I would simply say, in jest, and in truth,
Love is… a four letter word.