Well, another new year. Yay.
I am starting the year (and this post) doing something I seem to do quite often - basically apologizing for submitting so little to the Blind Butcher. As you may know, when I decided to start this blog it was my intention to keep things up as regularly as could be expected. By those rather loose parameters I suppose it has been a success. And by other measures things have moved along rather swimmingly. In many ways we accomplished a great deal of what we set out to do. We have sent out pleas for submissions to many of our most respected and most interesting friends, and we have been rewarded with a fair number of well-written and thought-provoking posts. I personally want to thank each of you for taking the time to make it happen knowing full well myself the efforts it can take to get much of anything done these days.
I won't make excuses for not posting. I have been lazy, first and foremost, and that has done little to shake me of my creative funk, writer's block and/or near-total lack of inspiration, for a period that is quickly moving beyond months and into the realm of a year. No damn good.
In the world of music death has swept through the end of 2009 with ferocity. Epically talented guitarist Jack Rose died suddenly several weeks ago leaving many shocked by such a huge loss. Singer/songwriter Vic Chesnutt, someone I somehow managed to completely miss the train on for his entire life, died Christmas day after his ultimate attempt at suicide. Just yesterday, Roland Howard, member of Australia's utterly fantastic The Birthday Party, succumbed to cancer at 50. All three of those guys cut huge paths through their respected musical universes, and have left equally huge holes behind them for the rest of us to fill as best we can.
We all trudge forward today, one year left in the first decade of the 2000s, none of us too sure about the health of this world, its inhabitants, or, for that matter, what there is to hang on to amidst the mire or our own making.
I'll tell you. There's family, that old saw - that family of yours. The people who love you enough to sit around and mysteriously still love you while you (okay, more I) are pathetic, weak and the prodigal vessel of uncertainty and fear.
I absolutely must get back on track. I have got to pull the rabbit out of my ass and show the people what I've got. What have I got? I'm alive. Maybe that's enough.
Is there confusion? It's malignant, ever-present, unyielding, and yet - so what. We all have a bit of that, more for some, for others less. Big deal. Move on.
The alternative? I'm fond of referring to it, but I am tired of imagining it.
It's a touch boring.
I grouse. It's a trait that rubs many the wrong way. I struggle with that. I could do this alone, on a private blog if I so desired. But I don't so desire. What I desire is to use the Blind Butcher as a place to realize whatever it is I feel could use a little air. I don't promise hilarity, warmth, motivational gloss, or anything of the sort. All I have ever promised in here was that I would make every effort to be honest. Okay, maybe that's a lie.
It's 2010. I have fallen so far behind I don't even recognize the person that I see in the mirror. That guy, don'tcha know, is a fucking asshole.
There's so little magic in writing. It's just like every other creative pursuit. If you do it a lot, if you work your fucking ass off at it, writing through the days (most of them) during which you feel yourself a fraud, eventually you will be able to look back and realize you have something to show for yourself. It's fleeting. God damn, is it ever fleeting. Take a little break and you are on a creative sabbatical. Try to come back and you are treated to a sense of betrayal from your own mind. It's not a pretty thing to experience. Yeah, there's just nothing like trying to use words to express yourself and ultimately finding that you are instead gripped by the deeper feeling of having nothing of value to say.
It doesn't matter. Say it anyway. Otherwise you're dead. Or worse, you are slowly dying. You are right there, shovel in hand, helping the grave-digger make a place for you in the black, pungent earth.
I just have to do these. It just is. If you can't stand posts like this, go back to Farmville, go back to the Simpsons, go back to your comfortable world of mixed drinks on Friday, beautiful, perfect little children with the keys to forever in their hands, to your energy-efficient hybrid car, to your endless venues of promise, of hope, and of joy.
This is the Blind Butcher. This is not a love song.
Okay, maybe it is.
Happy new year.
Like you need another one.