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Little Girl, Get Up

Are you familiar with the term “tortured artist?” I was referred to as a tortured artist (lovingly, of course) recently, and it was a bit of a shock to the system. Why, I don’t know. I could have put that together myself. Musician with troubled past creates art therapy = “tortured artist”, plain and simple. What isn’t so simple is how I feel about it, or what it reveals about me.

At first I felt a bit of an imposter. Tortured!? I haven’t been through enough to…nope. If I’m being honest, most people would consider my story hardship enough. That said, lots of people go through significant hardship without ever being labeled as “tortured.” It’s likely though that only persons who go through significant hardship and then channel their experiences into artistic endeavors get the label. On the other hand, some artists are “tortured” and no one knows why! Some of the most brilliant artists who ever lived became “tortured artists” for no apparent reason, and we’re glad for it! I’m potentially keeping great company as an other-identified “tortured artist.” Influencers from Picasso to Winehouse are considered “tortured artists.” …Then again, Picasso chunked part of his ear off, and Winehouse joined the 27 club. Whether they are abysmal failures in their lifetimes or rich and famous, “tortured artists” are just that…tortured, misunderstood, lonely.

Top 10 Tortured Artists: http://www.toptenz.net/top-10-tortured-artists.php

With that in mind, being distinguished as a “tortured artist” sounds equal parts great and awful. If I can chalk this identity up to wearing my heart on my sleeve and producing art that effectively communicates the gauntlet of emotions as I experience them to great effect for the benefit of others, then I can embrace the label. If, however, I’ve earned the label because I’m unhinged with a predictably tragic future like the next Picasso or Winehouse…then I’m conflicted.

Mental Illness and Creativity: A Neurological View of the Tortured Artist: https://web.stanford.edu/group/cosign/Sussman.pdf

I think it’s really a chicken and egg question. Am I an artist because I am a tortured soul? Or am I a tortured soul because I am an artist? All I’ve ever wanted was to translate life’s ups and downs into art form for the benefit of myself and others. Have I embraced suffering, even brought it upon myself at times to better facilitate this end? Or did I embrace my talents as a means of coping? Perhaps it is a bit of both! Let’s consider.

The coping theory is viable because

1. I was raised in part by a man who was and remains, to my knowledge, a sociopathic individual whose teachings and expectations put me at odds with much of the functional world and gave me PTSD.

2. severe depression (diagnosed) and bi-polar disorder (not diagnosed) run in my family

The self-made tortured artist theory is viable because

1. I admire many influencers who have been subsequently labeled as “tortured artists”

2. I was having to deal with shitty circumstances anyway…I discovered that I had a talent for music at an early age…Circumstances + Talent = Tortured Artist. Logically! I could have come to that conclusion myself at a young age and stayed the course, even going so far as to give more weight to negative emotions for the sake of my tortured aspirations.

Even knowing myself and my past, I can only guess. At some point, being unable to change my circumstances, I bet it became a bit of both. Now that I am where I am, and considering the implications, I guess I’m proud of what the distinction may indicate about the efficacy and depth of my art, BUT I don’t want to live a miserable, misunderstood existence! I don’t wish to wallow for the sake of creating more of the same kind of art. I want to evolve, grow, figure shit out and, hopefully, find balance and happiness whilst still creating art. …Is this done?

I aim to find out.

The following is a new song entitled “Little Girl, Get Up”. Inspired both by my personal struggles and the stories of those who have bravely shared of themselves in the recent #metoo and other social awareness campaigns making their rounds in the media. If your intention is to make the world a safer place – physically or emotionally – for yourself and others, then stay the course. Forget anyone who intentionally misconstrues your meaning or takes personal offense to your truth. The future is ours.

Little Girl, Get Up

Little girl, get up and find your center

Little girl, get up and make your way, we’re moving on

little girl, nobody’s got the answers

little girl, it’s not you, it’s not you, it’s not

 

And everybody knows that you do what you have to do

And everybody knows, might not look the same for me and you

You wish everybody cared? Ha! Well they don’t, who you fightin’ for?

It’s not you, it’s not you, it’s not you, it’s not

 

Little girl, get up and find your center

Little girl, get up and make your way, we’re moving on

little girl, nobody’s got the answers

little girl, it’s not you, it’s not you, it’s not

little girl, it’s not you, it’s not you, it’s not

 

I never would have done it if I had known

The devil’s in the details, and when it shows…

I never would have done it if I had known

The devil’s in the details, and when it shows…

I never would have done it if I had known

The devil’s in the details, and when it shows…

I never would have done it if I had known

The devil’s in the details, and when it shows…

 

Little girl, get up and find your center

Little girl, get up and make your way, we’re moving on

little girl, nobody’s got the answers

little girl, it’s not you, it’s not you, it’s not

 

Little girl, get up and find your center

Little girl, get up and make your way, we’re moving on

little girl, nobody’s got the answers

little girl, it’s not you, it’s not you, it’s not

little girl, it’s not you, its not you, it’s not

little girl, it’s not you, it’s not you, it’s all wrong.

 

 

 

 

 

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