I’ve long lived with Seth Godin’s suggestion that art is anything you make that forges a connection between people.
Over time, and in that light, I’ve also come to recognize that the depth and sustainability of my professional art life has a lot to do with the particular people I am connected to in/through my work.
Which brings me to my now 12yo son, Asa.
Asa wrote a lot of the melody for the song “Graduation” and is the main vocalist on the finished track. It was the thought of connection with him on this project that really moved me to do it.
Of course, there were many points of connection throughout the whole process (and definitely now, after is release). But what provided the project’s core energy was specifically sharing the writing and recording process with my son.
So, on a personal level, the life in and behind this EP is rooted in the love I have for that remarkable young man, Asa.
And, on a broader scale, I think being able to name/identity specific people is what makes it possible for an Artist (of any kind) to do what they want to do long-term.
Ideas and artifacts can be thrilling. They just don’t give real life.
regardless of how effective or well-received or profitable an idea or artifact might be, that experience simply pales in comparison to the deeply grounding experience of human connection.
I risk a bit of overstepping here when I say that we’ve been in a season during which it seems like everything is on fire; that every “issue” and every conversation carries with it the utmost importance. And because of that urgency, not only you should not only know about all of it in detail, you also must see the right details from the correct angle and then (this is key) care about the right things to the correct degree and in the right way.
It’s too much.
So here’s the somewhat scandalous reality I’m living with now:
If what I say I “care about” doesn’t have actual names of actual people attached to it, I’m either faking it or I’m at least a little bit wrong.
Because the human heart doesn’t live on the energy of ideas or even the urgency of causes. The human heart runs on relationship and connection.
Too much of what we mean by “Church” or “religion” became about ideas and artifacts.
Too much of what we mean by “Politics” or “Justice” became about ideas and artifacts.
And too much of our experience in all these areas has been very, very disappointing.
May my disappointment
in myself and in others
lead me to hope and work for change
rather than to the desire
to isolate or distance myself.
And may that change mean a smaller and more personal experience of our own lives. For the sake of the very specific people around us and for our own, very specific souls.
Links For Justin:
NEW Single – Let Go
NEW Music – Sliver of Hope
NEW Music – The Dood and The Bird
Order the new book – It Is What You Make it