Craft and Healing

I haven’t had much time to create over the past two weeks. I am proud of how far along my journey as a human and as a woman I have come, because now, when I ignore my need to create, I feel physical pain. My work forms a component of my healing practice, and a key part of my human identity. This has always been the case, of course. But for so long, I have kept that instinct bottled and stifled. Denying myself was a matter of course, rather than a source of grief. Now, I feel bereavement.

I have been struggling to find the time and courage to move forward with a song I have been sitting on. Many times in my life, I am pulled apart by powerful oppositional forces. I have a desire to devote myself fully to creating work I am most proud of, but also drawn towards manifesting work that is necessary for my healing, but is less popular or desirable. Many musicians have a catalogue that extends far, far beyond what is available for purchase on iTunes. Hard drives full of unused ideas, completed ballads, and absolutely stellar grooves. But there they sit, unreleased. I myself have many of these.

Two weeks ago, I found myself shuffling through songs at random in my iMac library. Deep cuts from my own catalogue mixed with rap ballads by Nicki Minaj, Nina Simone’s live performances, and electronic pop songs from the 80’s. For the past two weeks I’ve left my music on shuffle. With Siri choosing song after song for me, I re-discovered my catalogue, falling in love all over again with my craft. Songs I wrote on my way back home from Stanford. Songs I wrote with tears streaming down my face. Songs I wrote while dancing with Jason in my living room laughing and twerking.

I’m on a plane again, and I can’t help but wonder if my health is innately tied to my powers of manifestation. I suppose that they are, and that the more important question is which is a slave to which. Or perhaps, they are both in charge, and I am a slave to them. That would make my craft less of a burden, and more of an act of personal salvation. The likely answer is a bit of both.

Jessica Spicer