Tuesday, June 22, 2010

When I die

When I die, I want my tombstone to read...

I don't know what it is about this place. It's like there's no potential to grow into anything culturally. I'm stuck in this place. I'm Saint John fodder, home grown, home eaten. I'll probably go to school, four years of learning, four years of growing. Then I'll get a job with the government. Good pension, good health care, good dental care. Denchers at 50, the kinda thing people dream about.

There aren't a lot of venues. There aren't a lot of artists that decide to put themselves out there. I've led a very dramatic and public life so far, just so I can get a tombstone with no ending on it. That's what I want.

I want my tombstone to read, Jeff Cook 1991 - ????

It's like I've tried everything. I've put some back bone into every form of expression I can, and it's almost like it doesn't matter. I just haven't found the right way to speak. I play music, I drew things when I was younger, I've written since I could hold a pencil, and I'm even thinking of making a film. This is what I do, I live publically, so that when I die, I can get something on my tombstone. Something real special, that reads like I never actually died. So that all the things I made public are still going to move on when I'm rotting in the ground.

Jeff Cook, 1991 - ????,  May he live on

He live on

He lives on

Something catchy like that. Some people passing by will think that it was a typographical error. The people at the tombstone making factory forgot to ctrl-A backspace key. That kind of thing. The people that knew me, or those that decided to read this will understand a little more clearly. It'll be like my final aspiration. It'll be like the album I never released, the film I never put out, the poem I never got published. But this time, it'll actually work. It'll live on. The one thing that time will take hundreds of years to completely wear away.

Thing about construction work is, you gain a whole new respect for how durable rocks are.

I seem to be spending less and less time on music. I seem to be spending more and more time with shovels. It's the other side of this whole dream of mine. If I want to give up on the reassurance of the put on my tie everyday and go do math in a building, then I may have to spend a lot of time with dirt and shovels. I may have to spend less time with the band I want to be in. I may have to spend less time with the people I love.

Thing about construction work is, you get a lot of face time with gravel.

There's an incredible feeling inside me that I'm meant for something bigger than all of this. Maybe it's because I talk about it so much, or try so damn hard to be the best at something. I thought that maybe if I did just like momma told me, got good grades, went to school, stayed away from hard drugs, I might be able to get my dreams to come true. There's something about that that's flawed. To make my dream come true I'd have to work work work and do less time procrastinating. To work on music, you have to have a band, and a lot of time and a lot of paper and a lot of pens pencils crayons sheet music. This means you need money. As dad said, in order to exist in this life, you need money. To get money, you work construction.

The thing about construction work is, you learn how to beat things mercilessly into the ground in all sorts of ways. You're still going to be the doormat in your next relationship.

I live in the maritimes, and I don't like hockey. I live in the maritimes and I don't particularly enjoy sports. I live in the maritimes and I was never exposed to any sort of art culture until I took it upon myself and met some people who played these things called guitars. Your parents are going to think you want to play sports, are going to think you want to be sydney crosby, are going to think you'll want to be Gretzky. Don't blame them, all the other kids want that, and not a guitar. It's still 1998, and rockband hasn't been released yet.

The thing about meeting life-time construction workers is, you start to realize that there's a balance between having nice things, and having time to appreciate those nice things.

The thing about construction work is, you're the sun's best friend. You wake up with it, you go to bed with it. You're the sun's girlfriend. You cook it breakfast, you great it with your morning cigarette. You spend lunch under it, and you're just a little bit glad when it sneaks away for an afternoon so you can beat off to the idea that you might get off early.

I'm sorry about all of this. I just want to get all of this off my chest. I just want to be famous. Anyway, when you walk by my tombstone now, you'll know why it says what it does!


Anonymous said...

Don't be sorry.

I admire your transparency and have for a long time. I wish more people had the courage to be so open with their hearts and minds.

Somehow, you have to keep the hope and the dream to make your music alive. Don't let the thought of practical matters kill your dream. You'll regret it. Find ways to keep going forward with your music.

Make room for your music. Think of the bigger picture. There's 168 hours in a week - devote some of that time to your passion. Maybe you won't be famous, but don't let your dreams be completely be buried.

The truth is, your dreams won't be buried by a cruel world, or by people who don't understand what you are really all about. Your dreams will be buried by YOU, because you allowed yourself to be crushed under the weight of responsibility and other people's judgment and self-limiting thoughts which will become YOUR self-limiting thoughts, because YOU gave up on yourself. You will have stopped believing in what mattered most to you.

I know of a person who took up the violin at 40, and another who is taking up the guitar at 52. Sure, the former will never be a virtuoso, and the latter plays for fun with 3 of his sons, but they is playing well enough to be pleased with their efforts and having a blast.

The world has plenty of paper pushers, bean counters and not-so-innovative scientists (someone has to be the underpaid lab technician). One more or one less will not make much of a difference.

Think of it this are limiting yourself as either one OR the other. There is NO reason why you can't fulfill your 'duty' to get a degree AND pursue your music. Yes, you will have something 'practical' to 'fall back on' and get your family (who probably loves you and in some way really doesn't want you to piss poor and starving) off your back, knowing you won't HAVE to eat ramen noodles for the rest of your life (unless you like them, of course).

The years you are in college are short, but the years you will probably be alive will be far too long to live regretting giving up on your dream.

I would give a kidney to have kept a creative talent in me alive, so that when I 'retired' from the biotech lab to raise my daughters, I'd have something creative to throw myself into.

Now I have to start over at the beginning. I have to 'unlearn' analytical skills and tap into a dormant creative side. It's there...but it's just fledgling abilities.

If I could do it over again...I would not have listened so much to the fears of being broke and I might have not even dated so much which had kept me from developing whatever natural abilities I might have had in the artistic arena. I worked my way through college and dated and had VERY little time to devote to what I really should have been pursuing - my writing and other artistic endeavors - but I didn't know then what I know now.

So much time is lost...but meh, it's all right, I suppose...all I got is time now. Better late than never.

Perspective dear, perspective. There is NO ONE on this planet that really has the power to hold you back...except YOU. are a wonderful soul and I hope you see your way through to where you really want to go.



Anonymous said...

You never were the doormat

xijillay said...

I totally understand.

Anonymous said...

You don't know me and I am not sure how I happened upon this post...but I do know that I am sad reading it. Maybe you need God in your life. Maybe it is time to stop searching and running. Let yourself be found.

Peace in Him

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