I’ll start by saying “sorry.” And I mean it, I really am sorry – sorry I haven’t written in so long. It’s been over a month now since I’ve said anything to you, and even at that, my last two messages were merely mix-tapes. In effect I’ve barely said anything since I turned 40 at the beginning of May, and precious little about that, even. For someone who used to share every detail that’s a poor performance.
It’s a cliched phrase, but I can honestly say “it’s not you, it’s me.” Well, it always has been, hasn’t it? Six years ago when I told you I’d write regularly – God, it was DAILY at first, wasn’t it? – it was me me me me me all the time. Mind you I fancied there’d be something in it for you; after all, didn’t you want to know about every nail in my shed, every gig in my calendar, every song in my head? If nothing else I thought it might help you learn about yourself to learn about me learning about myself. Heaven knows I tried to be humble.
Trouble is, devoted as I was to the effort of being devoted to you by being devoted to me (“my work”) as I so earnestly called it… that path was always fraught with pitfalls. I’ve told you about that before – how it surely doesn’t do a fellow good to talk about himself all the time. I’ve even walked away entirely, figuring if there was no way to talk to you without it being about me it wasn’t worth it.
I came back, of course. I’ve always come back. But to me, more than to you, I’m afraid. Except in the silence. I’m beginning to suspect we only really connect in the silence.
Isn’t that ironic? I mean whether or not I ever had any idea who you were, dear reader, I felt I at least owed it to you to keep writing! Gosh, it’s the least I could do for someone who had the courtesy to care about whatever happened to be on my mind. I sure don’t extend that courtesy to a whole lot of people myself. Another of my charms. Anyway, I did always keep writing… that was my end of the bargain.
Funny then, that as I’ve rounded the latest curve in my life, I’ve fallen so silent all of a sudden. With you, I mean. Not in the rest of my life; I’m writing lots elsewhere. And performing a lot, too, and trying to share music and ideas and appreciation for life with all kinds of people. Succeeding, maybe, to some extent. I occasionally think so, anyway.
It’s a great feeling. Honestly, I’d love to tell you all about it. That’s what this space is for, right?
The thing is though… the time I spend here talking to you is time I could be spending doing something that may be more critical. Sorry – I’m not trying to diminish our relationship at all. It’s just that it’s hard to believe in you, dear reader, as ephemeral as you’ve been… compared to all that real-world stuff I’ve been doing. It makes me feel pretty sheepish, but I can’t say a whole lot to you these days without feeling forced about it. Actually, it makes me feel like a big navel-gazer. That used to be one of my strong suits, maybe, but I’m a little tired of it now.
So, uncomfortable as it may be, I’m going to have to ask that you be patient while I sort this out. I can’t say anything if I don’t have anything to say! And anyway, having nothing to say, I’ve somehow managed to keep myself really busy and maybe help a couple of other folks along the way. That’s gratifying in ways that talking to you about my travails on the trails and the rails just hasn’t been in some time.
I really hope you’ll understand, and thanks so much for your patience. All this time you’ve really been like a friend to me, even if you were an imaginary friend. I never really thought of you as a ‘fan.’ I’m not exactly the kind of guy who has fans, that much I’ve realized! Anyway, if you’re anything like the way I imagined you to be, you’ll accept this with grace.
Maybe it’s what you’ve been waiting for me to realize all along.
So long, for now. If I think of anything, I’ll let you know.