Thoughts on Isolation

I don't know why I thought moving across the country by myself was a good idea. I've been sitting in this little square room for days, taking occasional jaunts to spend money exploring the city. At first I was propelled by a sense of purpose and excitement, but now, I just feel so incredibly mind achingly chest poundingly lonely. I walked out of the art museum today and had to sit on a bench and just cry for a while. I wished I could walk into the paintings, instead of out the doors. I saw a girl in a painting and imagined holding her hand.

I have a fresh new musical in a neat stack next to me, just laying there, silent. For a year and a half I worked on that play almost every day, every weekend, I'm still fiddling with it, editing it, but now comes the most arduous and horrible part of the whole process: getting it put on. This is the part of making music I hate, having to convince the rest of the world that what you're doing is worthwhile.

In 2001 I was studying composition in New York with a Russian man named Michael Zieger, and I remember going to a lesson and seeing piles of notebooks stacked neatly on a bookshelf. I asked him about them, and he told me they were his symphonies. He pulled them out, and sure enough, they were handwritten works of enormous proportion that, sadly, will never see the light of day. When I first saw them, I thought it was exciting that he'd written five symphonies, and that there they were. Whether or not they ever struck human ears, they exist, they are an entity, and I imagined he must have taken enormous comfort from that. But now, looking at my play sitting there, I feel a sense of enormous dread. What a waste of time it was to have written something that no one will ever hear. I basically built a huge tree, put it in a forest where there is no one to hear it fall, and answered that age-old question: If a tree falls in the forest, and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? The answer, and I can tell you this first hand, is yes, but what difference does it make? I've been tumbling down down down in this little forest of mine for a long time now. However! All that said, I have mustered up the strength to begin the process of getting this thing put on. As usual, it's all up to me, and so I have been trying to figure out how to get it put on. I suppose I'll have to research contests, playwriting competitions, local theater groups. etc. It's going to take a long time, since I'll be doing it all by myself.

With that in mind, I am mastering the album Secret Notebook and I'm almost finished. I've done ten songs and I really love them. So you can look forward to hearing this particular little tree fall sometime at the end of this year. Kevin Sampsell's book comes out in January, but I want the record to come out first. I hope you're all having a lovely summer. More later.