I am writing this amid the morning chaos, with children tearing through the house playing their own imaginative games, dishes unwashed, laundry to be done and taking bites of an almost cold breakfast sandwich and sips of hot chai in between my fingers hitting the keyboard. This is life. The unfiltered, interrupted, imperfect moments of life. I would look at other artists and professionals I admired and wonder, “How do they find the perfect environment in which to hone their craft and bring something beautiful into this world? How do they discipline themselves to write every day, vlog every day, record every day? How?” I would think to myself, “If I could just get this load of laundry done, then I’ll sit down and write that song” or “if I could have a weekend retreat by myself then I could really let my creativity flow and get something done”. “If only…”.
If I had a dollar for all the moments that I waited for what I considered the “perfect set of circumstances to do my work”, I would have been able to record 3 projects by now. Waiting for perfect has been the thief of many a dream. And so, I write, in spite of the chaos and the distractions and the things that vie for my attention daily that seem to be a revolving door of tasks that will never be finished. My husband often says to me, “Perfection is the enemy of good enough”.
In my more than 15 years of performing, writing, and recording I often wondered to myself, “why haven’t I achieved more in my professional career by now? “What’s wrong with me?” “Is it because I’m not good enough?”. The mental games that happen in the mind of an artist (or anyone for that matter) can be brutal. It can be so overwhelming; it makes you give up. Every time I considered giving up music altogether and getting a “regular job”, it’s as if my soul would begin to wilt like a flower deprived of nutrients and I could feel the tears were close behind. It was something I would feel physically, and it created even more unsettling thoughts and feelings. If this is what I’m made to do so why is this so hard?
While I love reading a good book, getting the time to sit down and digest book after book in this season of my life feels like to climb Mt. Everest wearing summer clothes and flip flops. So, I have come to rely on Audible. I have been greatly helped by Andrew Peterson’s Adorning the dark and Madeline L’Engle’s Walking on Water. If ever two books shot to the heart of the creative process and the necessity of the artist to keep at their craft, these are it. It took me about a week and a half to finish each book and I am working my way through both books again. How did I do it you ask? By using every opportunity I was in the car, or doing some mindless task (like laundry) to work my way through. I was actually amazed that I finished them so quickly. I think it was especially because I have needed the encouragement and direction that these two sages provide in their works. Andrew helped me see that the 15 minutes of inspiration between mealtimes or picking the kids up from school are sometimes the best moments of creativity and to just “write the song”. Madeline showed me that the artist is not as important as “feeding the lake”; meaning, offering our work to the collection of creative works that keep the creative spirit in circulation among artists no matter how insignificant one deems their work to be is fundamental. Additionally, she challenged me to commit myself to the “work” whether inspiration strikes or not and to trust that the habit of creating will itself become its own inspiration over time.
So, what does this have to do with me? And pray tell…what is the scrinz? I first happened upon the term “scrinz” when I was doing some research on the hummingbird. While the hummingbird is the national bird of my country of origin-Jamaica, I have always been attracted to hummingbirds for their effortless beauty and undeniable sound. The scrinz, I learned, is the voice of box of the hummingbird. While it is small and incapable of complex vocalizations, it is a powerful tool in helping these birds communicate. It even helps the males during their combat over territory. They create sounds that are both audible and inaudible. I suppose I felt particularly drawn to the naming my blog The Scrinz because I want to “feed the lake” when I’m not singing or performing. In this way, I may not be making audible notes for you to hear but perhaps in an equally powerful and motivating way, you can hear my thoughts, my stories, my struggles and be part of the journey in a deeper and more profound way and find comfort and courage for your own journey.
We all long to be heard, not just for what we can create but also for who we are as people. I hope in some way you “hear” me through my writing beyond the notes in a song. I hope that this reminds us all that we are meant to create and do and be even in the messy, chaotic, inconvenient days of life and that we will never be “perfect” or always have the “perfect moment” to do the thing we are made to do. As we commit to the “work” of creating, doing and being, may we find the path becomes clearer, our resilience in the face of setbacks or disappointments more refined and our hearts more awake to the season of life we are in and what it has to offer us. Just as the bees gather nectar from certain flowers to produce honey of different flavors and colors, may we gather from the life we are living in the here and now the nectar that makes our work unique, worthwhile and lifegiving. And may you find your own voice, as I am finding mine.