I've written a handful of posts about weeks where I've not felt motivated or the times I've lacked inspiration. This week is similar yet different.
To put it bluntly, the circumstances I have found myself in over the last few weeks have been less than desirable. And those circumstances have made me want to give up on a few things. Mainly, things I've been planning on creating.
About two weeks ago, I found myself snowed in at home. With nothing to do and nowhere to go, I decided that my snow day was going to be a day of productivity. All I wanted to do was read, write, listen, and watch.
You know, productive things.
I spent hours upon hours planning out my creative output over the next few months. I mapped out an idea for a fourth EP, I stumbled upon an idea for a new documentary short, I wrote down a handful of new ideas for my book, and I even began to write an article to submit to a website I frequently read. I wanted to have most of these projects done over the next week or two.
Then I got sick; more sick than I had been in years.
I was confined to a bed for three straight days and my enthusiasm for the things I had planned on creating slowly faded away.
Then my sister - who was visiting for the holidays - returned home to California. That put an even bigger damper on things.
A few days later, I was let go from my job due to a slow season.
I wanted to give up, throw in the towel. How in the world could I be productive and enthusiastic about creating art when the things around me seem to constantly fall apart?
I spent more days than I would have liked to in this mindset, but eventually I found comfort. There was comfort to be found in the God who loves us, comfort to be found in the people who have been placed around me who express their concern, and comfort in the pieces of art that I care so much about.
I eventually found myself listening to an old song from the 70s titled "Northern Sky" by a guy named Nick Drake. It's a piece of music I've listened to on an almost daily basis for the last two or three years. I even used it in my Iceland film.
It's very special to me.
The average person isn't familiar with who Nick Drake was but there are a few out there who are and those people have been highly impacted by the short musical career he had. Drake lived a mostly sad and very short life. He suffered from major depression, made little to no money, and eventually died at the young age of 26. He had little success with music during his lifetime and his work wasn't fully appreciated until after he was gone.
It's safe to say that Nick Drake had his fair share of setbacks. Setbacks that aren't even comparable to my own.
Despite his hardships, Drake was someone who did what he loved until the day he died. During the recording session for "Northern Sky" he was described as being chronically shy, withdrawn, and unhappy with the song's initial arrangement. But he recorded it anyway.
Very few listened and appreciated the song during his lifetime.
However, about 45 years later, a young man in South Jersey was sitting in a Starbucks working on a paper for school. He was stressed with college and worried about the future that was ahead of him. As he was typing away on his laptop, an interesting sound immediately caught his ear.
It was a song called "Northern Sky" and eventually, it was a song that grew to have so much meaning for him.
There are always unforeseen circumstances that occur when we are trying to accomplish something. I find that everything going smoothly is a rarity. However, you should never give up on something you're working on.
Doing so would be much too selfish.
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