A WEARY MIND, A HOPEFUL HEART

October 14, 2010

Phoenixx C.
10/9/10

A WEARY MIND, A HOPEFUL HEART

I had been looking forward to Bradley Hathaway’s gig at the Main Street Café in Kansas City since early September. I wanted that late night nostalgia with the heavy scent of musk draped on every man’s clothing. I didn’t want to forget the scent of all our pleading cries staining our shirts in what the deodorant could not cover up. We hummed a little and sang a couple verses to ourselves on the hardwood floor. The low lights gave Bradley a red glow. When he closed his eyes I could read the somewhat sagging-in-hopes-of-lifting demeanor across his straining eyebrows. “There is love, there is beauty, and there is pain but at the moment I can’t help feeling they are all the same.” This thought is so profound yet the idea is simple, it seems it would take the purging of some emotions to get this onto paper.

– He leaned forward against the small merchandise table, his elbows resting next to his mug of tea, his bony fingers laced together.

What got you started writing?
Well I had gone to see a spoken word poet and then a couple months later it literally just came to me. Like I was driving one day and then it just came to me.

Do you write for yourself or for others?
(loosely) In the beginning, for myself but now there is definitely more of a [demand] for it. You guys are definitely a part of it but at there are also things that are for yourself.

Bradley Hathaway’s way of storytelling is so vivid; I find myself immersed in the flow of his words and his humble laughter. He read us the children’s book Owl at Home in order to perform “Look Up”. There is no love like the night. Did you ever place your thumbnail to the sky and measure the size of the moon when you were little? Back then the moon’s existence seemed invaluable. Are we vainer now that we question everything, of which we ask for answers and to be heard?

Bradley wove a thread through his prose, all speaking of a relatable pain, of which created a patchwork of divine wisdom. The empathy in his bones, enunciated by his teeth and jaw, was viral. There is clarity in Craig Owens’ lyric “we’re screaming at the same moon,” in realizing not everyone has that anchor in their lives to persevere past their depressions and traumas. I felt a sense of accord that although we may be alone, we were not lonely that night for we all felt worth in ourselves. I think Bradley gave us all a taste of hope Saturday night. Watching him perform was not a religious experience but a spiritual experience. Throughout his 90 minutes of musing with us he was able to give light to the sufferings in his writings with a witty sense of humor. Whether he intends to or not, I find it truly a gift that he can reach people, even himself, through his words.


You’re Gonna Go Far Kid

February 16, 2009

I was thinking. If I was offered the opportunity to be a journalist for a music magazine (possibly Alternative Press or Rolling Stone) or to be a guitarist in an amazing band. Which would I choose? I had wanted to play guitar since I was nine years old. Practicing my air guitar in the privacy of my own room, completely spazing. Or pouring my guts out with ink and paper in hopes of becoming an utterly brilliant writer.

Being in a band would be quite interesting. I’d enjoy the fun questionnaires you get in interviews and your “humble” opinion on things. Looking super fierce in when you play live so you can intimidate people. Or to be some coffee drinking freak, blinded from the sun, glued to your computer, writing obsesser. Wearing T-shirts and tight jeans, strutting around like you know what you’re doing. Reader, does that thought ever cross your mind? I wonder where life will take me quite often. Who will I end up being in the next couple of years (I’m hoping I’ll stay true to who I am now.)?

Reader, let’s be honest. Would either of those jobs fully satisfy me? I seem to be quite an undecided person. I purchase an item at a store. “I love it! I’m so happy I bought it!” The next twenty minutes. “What the heck did I just waste my money on?! I could have bought ‘such and such’.” Yep, that is me. Being on the road with a band would be fun for a while. Awake at all hours, doing what you love, traveling, and playing shows. My only problem? I get motion sickness. I’d practically be bulimic. Then the shows would get tiring, performing the same songs until you write a new one. I suppose I shouldn’t think so negatively, maybe I’d be able to make a big impact on a lot of kids. Then there is writing. After a while, what is there to talk about? You are usually seen with a pen in your hand or your eyes are burning from staring at a computer screen for so many hours.

I guess I can be quite the “party pooper”, but that’s just me my friend. You either do or don’t like me, I don’t care too much. Either one I’d love. Writing would be easier to handle, though I’d miss the comfort of my guitar, Bella, too much. The excitement of playing a gig and going crazy on stage sounds and looks intruiging. Who knows where the world might take me….