I was 17 or 18 years old when I ventured to get a tattoo. I was back home in Houston, drunk, most likely on something not preferred by the authorities and brought a huge banner of the Rush 2112 star dude into a tattoo parlor and insisted it to be forever marked on my left breast. It is my hope now to try and restructure this tattoo into a nice flower design of some sort based on my paintings, and sleeve it down my arm. I mean really... Rush? I grew up with older brothers and a sister, enough said. Photograph by Def Leppard is still the best classic rock song out there.
Turning 35 is, like for many, a slightly big deal. It is a milestone (just Google 'turning 35'). I think the biggest hurdle I am trying to jump over is the fact that I am still single. I have moved around a great deal, I have been working on the road the past ten years. I have been progressing, seeing things, experiencing, and gathering chapters for my inevitable book 'Rock and Roll is neither a rock or a roll' so why expect to be settled down? Now being here in Portland and almost a year through graduate school, spending relentless hours of studying and memorizing, it is slightly different. It is challenging. Tour managing… yeah I get it, blindfold me, I can do it in my sleep. Its not that it bores me now, in fact it sickened and stressed me out two months ago having to turn down a few incredibly huge tours which just may have paid a chunk of my entire tuition, but to what cost? Keep taking the tours? Keep taking a year off from school? Regretting being out on the road when I desire to finish this goal that I only have 2 years to complete? I know I will continue to learn new modalities, new challenges and to integrate what I can into my current and future careers. The music business will never let me go, its like this magnetic vortex of superficial ego candy that has glimpses of pure beauty with the melodies that exude, and these are the moments that one can feed off of for awhile. I love the business, the clients that have become friends, the fans that have become friends, and of course the crew… the damn crew.
I am more aware now than I have ever been. I have had to let go of many relationships, or better yet just stopped trying of taking initiative to reach out to people who just have no knowledge of the word reciprocity. I have realized I have dear friends who are not here in Portland, but everywhere else (and I miss them all very much) and that relationships take time to cultivate, but there is a limit. I am lucky, worked hard, experienced so much already, and know more opportunities will open up and look forward to seeing who sticks around the next 35 years of my life. I cherish the special people in my life and will continue to make more, but energy should not be spent so carelessly especially when it is not needed. I would be remiss if I failed to mention how incredibly happy to have met such wonderful people at school this last year, and the other amazing people who have become so important to me. I also must mention that although I may not hear from you that often anymore, I often think of those beyond my reach and look forward to catching up here or elsewhere.
There is a good deal to experience out there and I am incredibly thankful to feel that my age should really be 30 as opposed to 35. I feel it, I look it (thank the devil) and have never been so dedicated on preserving what I have, than I am now. I thank my determination for going back to school. The discipline is hard, when temptations seem to be at every turn, but I know I am more aware now and able to digest it, come back with more skills and more importantly, do what I can now (whether juggling tour managing and school.... yeah THAT was a cake walk, thank you month of May) or simply drowning myself in my studies. It all comes back to school... the medicine... the human body... the acetabulum... kidney 2 being located in the medial side of the ankle just under the navicular tuberosity… these things. What’s up Bilirubin and ileocecal valve?
A wise and dear friend told me back in Brooklyn earlier this year whilst on tour that being on the road for me is a drug, which it is for many of us... this is not a bad thing... its just a realization that I needed to hear. I love having the best sleep of my life in my bunk as the bus drives to the next town, I love the awkwardness and weird habits you see in people 2 weeks into a tour, I love having to tell people it sounded great when I am not even sure the guitar and vox were even in the fucking mix, but I want something more along with that. I want to add skills to what I already have. I want to constantly add skills. The tough part is you have to master the skills (at least in the world of medicine) before you can actually integrate it into a current skill. I don't like this of course, but I honor it. No one said it was going to be easy. Momma said there would be days like this. You have to sacrifice to succeed in life. It is going to hurt you more than it is going to hurt me. No sugar tonight in my coffee. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees… these types of things.
So in 10 years from now, when I am 45... what will become of me? Amazing sensational touring acupuncturist to the rock stars? A wife? A Georgia O' Keefe type person painting and putting up with bullshit from a photographer named Alfred while sweating her ass off in New Mexico? (Relax, I know Stieglitz was a huge influence and help for her). Or I could just be Joy Earl... honest, genuine and hip. And my… doesn't she look great for her age?!
-Then as it was, then again it will be
An' though the course may change sometimes
Rivers always reach the sea-
Ten Years Gone - Led Zeppelin