Falling Off The Face Of The Earth
My head is heavy. My body aches. My eyes are sore. But I know that I am alive.
Just a few weeks ago, I felt lost. I was bone tired. I felt like I had fallen from the face of the earth. I felt like “Heartland” had failed. If not the music, then the message. If not the message, then the spreading of it. I didn’t know what to do next. Give up the music? Put on a suit? Resign myself to being a media executive? Worse, I felt empty. I wasn’t sure I had any art left.
I am alone now with just the whirl of the DV decks and the buzz of laptops. I am exhausted from six days in Park City. I am exhausted from a steady diet of Emergen-C, white bread, Rice Crispy Treats, and Uinta beer. I am exhausted from eighteen hour days, relentless reportage, writing, editing, filing.
But tonight, I know that I am alive.
I know that I am alive because today, for the first time since summer, I picked up my guitar. For the first time in months, I liked how it felt in my arms. It felt new. It felt solid. It felt full of possibility. I felt like I have something left to say. I felt like I have songs in me yet.
“Neil Young: Heart Of Gold” is a beautiful, moving film. It is a deep and simple document cast in warm amber glow. It is a triumph: a man, his music, and the friends he makes it with. The performances are beautiful, perfect and real, but the glanses the performers share that tell the story.
Sitting there in the Park City Library, tapping my foot, rocking my head, alternating between joy and tears, I felt something rising in me. It was song, my songs, like angels flying just out of reach, returning. Right there in the audience of the old Ryman Auditoriumq, right there in beneath the stained glass, I began to see what I’m going to do next. I began to hear it. I began to remember how to do it. And for the first time in months, that was all I wanted to do. To sing, and to play, and to look at my friends and smile.
That’s how I know I’m alive.