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Music, Music, Music

I’m listening to Eric Clapton now. He’s always been my favorite. Sure, other guitar players maybe better than him, but he has it. He just has it. He is able to channel so much emotion into his hands, it’s unbelievable. Sure, he’s not the greatest of songwriters, and he’s probably one of the least creative of the successful artists that exist in our time. But there’s more to art than just raw creativity. There’s passion and emotion, technique and style. And he has it. If you don’t believe me, listen to River of Tears, the live version. No human should have to feel that way buy, if he does, I’m thankful it’s down in music for us all to enjoy.

I used to play the guitar. I went to see EC in concert, looked down at my hands and said to myself, “if you can’t do this the way he can do this, don’t bother.” I really feel that, if you cannot add something to your art, if you cannot raise the level of expertise, “raise the bar” as it were, take it up as a hobby or give it up entirely. You have to be the best, mediocre art is just not good enough. It’s not worth the price of admission.

Don’t get me wrong, art is a wonderful thing. It inspires us, lifts our souls, saves us in our darkest hours, and, yes, it’s all it’s cracked up to be. Being an artist is one of the greatest rewards a human could possible experience. But, the world needs secretaries too (or administrative assistants or whatever they call themselves these days). I believe you can raise anything to an art form if you do it well enough. And art has a high price. It’s a great drain being an artist because you are always pressured to be the best. You are the one who pushes the boundaries and, as such, you are the keeper of the edges. You define the limits of society, of our hopes, our dreams, our social moreys. It’s a hard burden to bear. Being the only voice when others cannot speak makes life difficult for you. You keep looking around the corner, wondering if your vocal cords will give out, wondering why you were the chosen one, and wondering what you will do next. When you sing every night up into the rafters, you have to wonder what to do for the next encore, right?

Art is such a cruel mistress. What she gives, she takes away in spades.

“My times run out, now I gotta go. Gotta run away again. Still I catch myself thinking. One day I’ll find my way back here. You’d save me from drowning. Drowning in a river….drowning in a river of tears.”

Until next time, this is Carol, the Carol in “Carol’s Little World” signing off.


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