Lyrics from "Nothing Gets Crossed Out" by Bright Eyes.
When I didn't know how to feel my feelings, Bright Eyes felt for me. And as Connor (Oberst, singer/songwriter and driving force of Bright Eyes) grew from where I found him singing these lyrics on the album "Lifted, or the Story is in the Soil Keep Your Ears to the Ground" through the breathtaking double release of "Digital Ash for a Digital Urn" and "I'm Wide Awake It's Morning" I found myself growing too. And then when I first heard "Cassadaga" I instantly identified with the struggle of learning to truly love another. I was ecstatic the first time that I listened to "The People's Key" and the true joy found in that album, I wasn't sad that it was the final Bright Eyes album at all- but was so grateful that Connor had poured himself into his art as he grew and learned and thought it made sense for him to move on to other projects.
Sometimes, I'll find myself stuck with "Nothing Gets Crossed Out" on repeat and get to remind myself of how much I've grown in the last fifteen years. And today I realized that for the vast majority of that time I was not creating any art at all and that were it not for the amazing vulnerability of artists like Connor Oberst and others, not only would I have remained incapable of feeling my feelings but i would have had no record of my journey.
What if he had chosen to hold back instead of writing his brutally honest lyrics? Of course I was nowhere near his thoughts as he wrote, these songs weren't about me and they weren't for me and yet because he wrote them I became the man I am. Think about the artists that have shaped your life and formed your emotional education, what if they had put their brushes away or neglected to write that novel? Our art may be deeply personal and intensely connected to our experiences but it is not meant to be private. Our art may provide our livelihood, yet we cheapen it immeasurably when we do it for the money first and foremost. Our calling as artists is a calling to feel and express and in doing so give others a chance to do the same.
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