As I sit at my desk to type this, I see clearly that our story, the story of Lauryn and me, began long before we ever met. There’s a picture in front of me of Lauryn as a child, sitting at an organ with her full attention devoted to the music in front of her. Hands on either row of keys with a posture I’ve now memorized and take great comfort in when I see, she’s oblivious to the distraction of a sibling playing behind her. The profile of the photo only reveals a glimpse of her eyes but I know the gaze well. It’s puzzling out the information in front of her and and storing it deep inside for later recall.
A similar photo of me from around the same age exists somewhere around the house. I’m sprawled out on the bed in front of a notebook feverishly documenting some thought, with a guitar propped against the corner in the background. That same guitar now hangs on the wall above the window in front of my desk. Relinquished more to decor than trade, I’m now thinking that perhaps my subconscious placed it there as a reminder to stay true to myself. That this is where I’ve always belonged. That this too is where Lauryn has always belonged. That together, this is what we’re supposed to be doing with our time here.
So, however many years later, as we embark on this journey of a music career yet again, as we accept what seems to be the only place that makes sense to us, as we accept our fears of rejection and failure, those lifelong companions immune to our scorn, we now embrace the intoxicant of truth. That in spite of our efforts to make a “straight” life work, this is where we belong. We’re not young. We’re likely twice the age of most other artists embarking on this crazy journey. And it is crazy. Ask anyone. But for us, it’s not as crazy as not doing it.
Come what may, hell or high-water, we’re in this thing whole hog. But we’re not going at it alone. As we played around the country this year, we found an overwhelmingly deep and strong response, a response far different than we experienced in our previous incarnation. One fan told us that he thinks of things in powers of 10. He listed a couple of examples – “Do I have 100 days or 1000 days left” or “she’s lived for 10,000 days” – before he said, “You two sing like you have one day left.”
Maybe until this point we’d been holding back, maybe now we’re wearing our hearts fully on our sleeves. I don’t know. But I’ve been saying to Lauryn for some time that this was a matter of life and death for me. That we have to return to music in the most urgent of ways. That anything short of that was a lie I was no longer able to live.
We come to this with our scars like anyone else, with dreams and wishes and an optimism tempered by experience. But we also bring a commitment to write and sing those unflinching songs for fearless hearts, songs for those brave enough to admit we’re all a little broken — and songs for those who may not be quite so brave, not yet. Because we know, first hand, how music has the power to make the broken bits beautiful. And because we’re all in this together.
November 25, 2015