“It was dark, too dark to see,
you held me in the light you gave
You lay your hand on me
Then walked into the darkness of your smoky grave”
It takes a lot of courage to follow your calling, especially when that calling brings with it great sacrifice. The obvious heroes of our world – the policemen, soldiers, firemen, etc… - those who risk their lives every day for a cause greater than themselves – all deserve respect and recognition for such a great sacrifice.
However, there’s another kind of hero in our midst – we know him/her as “the artist” or maybe they’re “the unemployed”, “the cousin who lives out of his car”, “the eccentric friend who never had a steady job”, “the kid who doodles in class and doesn’t relate to his peers”, “the girl with headphones on who spends all day playing that “damn” guitar”.
Following your passion, your purpose against the grain of society is not an easy cross to bear, especially when that mission yields little fruitage. Putting your heart and soul into a song or a photo or a painting - laying it out for all to see and to possibly ridicule or worse yet – completely misunderstand – takes a drive and a commitment not easily embraced.
Artists are not supported. Only once they reach some level of “business success” do they truly get recognized, but then they are flooded with all the stuff that has nothing to do with their art or why they began creating in the first place – needy fans, managers, sponsors, it takes money to make money… a whole slew of meaningless expectations that for most artists can stifle their creativity. They become a factory of their meduim instead of a patient fisherman of their own inner world.
When was the last time you felt inspired and alive? For me, it’s when I listen to music especially at a live show or with a vodka and tonic (or 2 or 3) in front of my Bruce Springsteen Live In New York DVD. Nothing else compares. I feel inspired to write, inspired to be more myself and less the cookie cutter person everyone wants me to be. When I see the beauty of the earth or people who carry their lives on their faces, I am moved to want to capture those images with my camera. That is life. That is what I long to be passionate for. When I get those feelings, I feel like life is meant to go on forever and I feel something greater at work – something greater than all this madness. For tiny fleeting moments I believe in myself and that I can really have the life I desire. I don’t recall having any semblance of those emotions the last time I watched “The Bachelor”.
Artists are heroes too. They cross into the fire that most of us don’t dare draw near. They risk being ostracized and torn apart and give up family, friends, and a predictable meal plan all for the sake of trying to carve out an authentic life in this plastic society we call living.
And the sacrifices they make bring remind us of what living really is and what is important in our soul’s quest for answers…they hold us “in the light [they give}” and therein lies our faith, hope, and above all else - love…
For Complete Lyrics Visit: http://www.brucespringsteen.net/songs/IntoTheFire.html