This post was inspired by my friends and family members who’ve taken on a challenge this week to write one song every day. And it was written while I pushed play and replay again and again on the song below by my sister Charity Long and her husband.
[The challenge was designed by my brother-in-law, Dan White, but the link is no longer available.]
Dear Artist, Writer, Musician, Creator…
Thanks for pouring your sweat and tears into that painting I couldn’t stop staring at, feeling I was inside, hoping what’s inside me means as much.
Thanks for writing that song late at night after spending what you thought was all the energy you had on loving and caring for your kids, chasing them one more time around the room, reading them Goodnight Moon until you could recite it backwards. The chasing forever changed them. The song forever changed me.
Thanks for spending your days in dark rooms, tiny offices, old studios, and locations far away from home to produce that book or film I’ll turn to again and again for laughter on a Monday, encouragement after a sorrow, hope when hope seems lost, courage when I feel like giving up.
You work so hard where we can’t see you. You press through your own pain or trouble, the fact that it’s easier not to try, the reality that there are plenty of other things to do. And then you put that work out into the world, knowing some of us might stand right up and squash it. There might be criticism, those who love it might not praise enough. You take that risk, because you hope it will find the ones, at least one, who’ll understand. That even though they didn’t see the blood, the sweat, the tears, they’re moved as if they had.
Thank you for inspiring me to create every day, to pour myself out too, knowing that it’s what I’m meant to do, even if I cannot do it only. It’s nice to picture you there, writing the next song that will play behind my tears while I write the next sentence toward a finished something, a thing I’ll eventually put out there too, because you were brave and did it first.