Much of my writing was influenced by the song lyrics I grew up listening to as a child. The music artists from the 1990’s era were especially influential, such as Pearl Jam, R.E.M., Toad The Wet Sprocket, Counting Crows, and Sarah McLachlan. They are lyrics that influenced a generation, and those which inspired me creatively. While a handful of the individual song titles eventually became titles for my writing and photography, creativity in and of itself is nothing more than a mashup of the experiences in ones life. It is the culmination of thoughts, experiences, conversations, and ideas.
Recently, Amelia and I were discussing the band R.E.M., and how it would be unprecedented if the band reunited and went on tour, if only for a handful of shows, and if it came to be, my childhood dream of seeing them live in concert might come to fruition. Unfortunately, the band has made it very clear that they are not getting back together, and as Amelia so eloquently surmised, “there is more to life than going on tour.”
It seems that in popular parlance we gravitate towards the backstories of celebrities, casting aside any acknowledgement of their genius or talent, as is the case of R.E.M.’s lead singer, Michael Stipe, who revealed in 1994 that he was gay. The famous poet and writer Allen Ginsberg, a family friend, whom mentored me as a child, although revered for his talent and influence, there was always a focus on the fact that he too was gay.
Today I thought about my own life, and how society seems to gravitate towards the fact that I am a lesbian, which is a neat and tidy label for my sexuality. I’m curious to know what other people think, especially how, despite all that one has accomplished in life, the only thing that seems to matter in modern society is ones sexuality. One day, I might become the most influential writer, and/or photographer, a luminary of sorts, and for whatever reason, the fact that I am a lesbian is what would inevitably be brought up for discussion in interviews. Moreover, I don’t claim modern religion, but if I was forced to identify, I would have to say that I identify simply as Pagan.
My relationship with Amelia has been one of true love; Amelia is my best friend, my lover, my muse, and my companion. We are always together, never tiring of our almost constant presence. Not only have I learned about who Amelia is as a person, but she has helped me learn who I am as well, and collectively, we have both grown.
This year, I plan to write, to photograph, to create, and to dream, and none of this would ever have come to be part of my plans without the unconditional love, support, and encouragement of my wife, Amelia.
This article was originally inspired by a discussion about brilliant lyrics to the song Country Feedback by Michael Stipe of R.E.M.
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