There is a scene in the film “The Hours”, where Virginia Woolf’s niece sits in her absent-minded aunties knee, and the child’s mother explains it perfectly: “Your auntie is priviligied enough to live in two worlds. The one we’re in, and the one in her books”.
And that’s what it’s like for all of us. Creative or no, surely you recognize the feeling of being moved to another realm, another reality, when you read a book that touches you, hear a song that almost makes you disappear, or stare at a painting with colours so vivid yet so out of this world?
A creative person simply visits very often. That’s how the pieces get made. When reality gets rough I escape into the siren notes of Tori Amos or Kate Bush, the fairy realm, or the anger and wishes to change the world of Serj Tankian and System of a Down, or the calm dreams of Joni Mitchell, or the Lizard realm presented by Jim Morrison, or the supergay, supercolorful world of Rufus Wainwright, the rock and roll adventures of Aerosmith, the simple yet complicated and beautiful of the Beatles and so on, and so on. And inbetween, I escape into that realm of my own. The realm where there’s no need for questions, I am queen and I have queens fighting with me, wether it be the archetype of Mary who lets me listen to her heartbeat in Black Bride, Sarah who tells me her story, the unshaken Sofia or the siren cries of Florence. They are there, and it is as much real as this world we’re living in. They have stories, castles, houses, anger, sadness, ponies running all around them, they’re sitting on a beach or they’re knee deep in mud and grass.
Fact is; I need this world. We all do from time to time. That’s why, no matter how I’m feeling otherwise, I can perform, I can write, I can record. Because I completely travel to this world, and the real world doesn’t matter. All that matters is that I’m there, and when I’m there I can take my audience there. Let them get lost in those colours. Feel the passion of the war, or the sadness, or the frustration, or even the love and happiness.
The creative souls travel there often because they have to, because they are sensitive. An escape is needed to survive a pretty harsh reality when your sensitive like that. No, music and creative jobs do not make you depressed. Many are, because they have those sensitive souls, but the art is the good product of it, the necessity, and the depression is the side effect of the complete contact with your own emotions. One has nothing to do with the other. That’s why you don’t have to be afraid to lose it if your depression gets cured. Because you are still you, and you’re still that soul that feels, that touches, that keeps in contact with the other realm. And believe me, you’ll still have days when you need an absolute escape again, even if you’re well! Some awesome songs will be written those days!
I perform when I’m well, I performed when I wasn’t. And either way, as I’m never really chilling on this earth when I do, I feel Mary’s embrace and heartbeats, I feel myself taken back to my childhood in Wasps and speaking for those who can’t speak for themselves at that age, including me, and I feel that little dragon soaring above me. And no matter what, I feel safe. Most of the time in this world, but always in that one. That’s why creative people need their art. That’s why I need my music.