Someone said on the news the other day that Kenyans have a capacity for dreaming. We theorise and make plans. Solidifying those plans is a whole other matter.
Being in a band has made this seem much more real. Artists just like every other person makes dreams. Perhaps more than anyone else, we want to make music and make our fans happy.
Making music is not as straightforward as writing. Writing all depends on feeling inspired and making the choice to put that down into words. When it comes to music a lot of things need to come to play. You’re inspiration may come to you in the night when you’ve already retired into bed. Sometimes the compulsion is so forceful that all is left is to put it down somewhere before you forget it. You can plan out a whole album in one sitting, with a moving concept and a full proof timeline on how and when this is to be done. The whole band will be on board with the idea. At that point of conception you feel invincible, the king of the mountain.
That’s until things start going against the grain. While standing on the precipice of executing your plans, ready to take flight that’s when the illusion starts to crumble. Pieces of the puzzle fail to fit in one at a time. Your producer will conveniently fail to be available. At times we have
made plans to go record without even having money for studio time. Some of your band members fail to be available as agreed.
In the end you find yourself having to revise your now less than full proof plan time and again. Promises you’d made to yourself and to your fans remain just that, promises. And suddenly you’re not feeling so regal any more. Doubt starts to set in. you realize now how infinitely large the cosmos. And in that large cosmic landscape you are small, insignificant and powerless.
Your dream meantime has taken what seems like a lifetime to reach maturity.These are times when you will begin to question the path you had set out on. There’s nothing as bad as being bested by failure especially when you had such a high regard for yourself and your capabilities. Like the legend of Icarus those that fly closest to the sun get burned and they fall the hardest. It feels as if one is crushed by their own dreams.
What’s worse is that time itself is impartial to your plight. It goes on seemingly at an accelerated pace. Your peers on the other hand grow with every day, making money, progressing in their careers, successful. Parents begin to wonder why and when your ship failed to leave the port.
We begin to wish we had other people’s lives not knowing that they would never fit us or make us happy. Becoming an 8-5pm slave with chores for accomplishments begins to become appealing. All the effort we have expended charting the path to our dreams however has drawn you farther and farther away from the life that your peers now have. Sometimes you may even be too old to begin afresh.
It is understandable at this time, that we begin to reflect and feed such vile creatures like self-doubt and self-pity. Frustration kicks in. In the long run, absent of sufficient self-motivation, we begin to lose our drive for life eventually spiralling into a dark place where nothing returns from.
My life sometimes feels like this. Sometimes you may even lose the strength to keep on trying. It begins to look like a fool’s errand because you are fighting against forces that are beyond your control.
Recently I have been reminded that this feeling of insignificance itself is an illusion. That just because your dream has been delayed or taken a detour doesn’t mean that you are a failure.
When things fail to go as planned and you take some severe lashing along the way, when you have been hammered to the ground and ravaged by difficulty, that’s when you have been moulded to become the person that will be capable of carrying that dream to reality.
Inside the torture chamber of life, adversity in the form of a Roman legionary takes great pleasure beating out the weakness in our resolve. 80% of the time, the music industry feels torturous, like one is under the lash of the cat ‘o’ nine tails, with its metal tipped ends tearing at raw flesh. If there is anything I have learned from the experience it is that torture and adversity breeds a better human being and we come closer and closer to a form of ‘divinity’. And at that time when we have been purified, then the dream that seemed so evasive and illusory will come to find us.