My agent quits on Monday.
On Wednesday I tell my wife that I’m filing for divorce.
That afternoon my manager Ron calls and tells me that my record deal is history.
It’s been a big couple of days.
I’ve been building up to it, these 72 hours in 1995.
And this triple slap brings on a five-year whirlpool.
I hit the ground again and again. Hard. It hurts. I break all the way down.
And I question everything — money, responsibilities, music.
I wonder how to make all these seeming opposites work together,
Travel so hard for so little cash, and so little time home,
Put myself, my songs, out there over and over
For people to love, slam, or worse, just fucking ignore.
When my brain is at it’s darkest,
I see a hundred reasons for quitting music,
To stop making everyone put up with the fallout from my dream.
But I come to the simple fact that nothing fills me
Like putting words on a melody, telling a story that I’ve pulled from thin air.
The success or no-success of it is completely disconnected from the work itself.
And this is why I do it, what makes it worth the fight.
I fell in love with the work, not the feedback.
And I’ve never looked back.
Now the challenge is how to make daily life fit in with music,
Not the other way around.
Music is the constant.
It’s what fills the cup.
Everything else is just extra goodness.
It was my time to hit the wall, 1995,
To come up against myself,
Who I thought I was,
To find the reason to keep moving, stronger,
More exact in my dream.
The value of a good breakdown can never be underestimated.
As an artist, if you never confront yourself,
Your work is going to be stuck in the beginning phase.
Grow up. Crack up. Rebuild.
Tell the truth.
© 2015 Darden Smith