CREATIVE SURVIVAL FROM A SONGBIRD WITHOUT A NEST


The warm Texas sun graces us with its presence. Shining kindly on the dormant trees and grasses, signaling to the world that winter is finally over and we can all wake up. As I closely inspect the delicate new leaves and buds forming on the once desolate wasteland that is my backyard garden, I cannot help but feel joyous. To my left, new resilient life. Life that above all odds, survived the historically frigid week we all endured in February. To my right, the still blackened leaves of the plants that didn’t survive. I check for a pulse one more time and quietly say goodbye to the plants that have lived here longer than I have.


It’s been a long year to say the least. As a world, we have aged more in the past year than certainly ever before. But as we pass the anniversary of when we were forced to take action to protect ourselves, I am reminded of our resiliency, strength, and creative survival.




I am not one of the many choir members who directs ensembles for a living. I have a job where electric guitars, kick drums and crash cymbals throw their sound in every direction. My job is not to participate in the creative process, but to prevent runaway frequencies from damaging anyone’s eardrums. Neon signs and subwoofers demand my attention as I long for the sweet soothing sounds of choral music. I have an immense amount of pride in engineering sound for live bands, but it does not fill the void of rolling up my sleeves and woodshedding new pieces. It is the creative process that I’ve missed. It’s cracking open a brand new piece of music and sight-reading on the fly. It’s the hilarity of a loud mistake when there was clearly a rest. The satisfaction of both sides of my brain working in tandem.




So to my garden I go. I claw at the soil with my bare hands and plant new life where past life once grew. Here I can create whatever beauty I choose. Here I can roll up my sleeves and listen to the sweet soothing sounds of the birds. I can crack open a new seed packet and start the creative process from the ground up. I, too, can share my song.