You’re A Lifer

There are moments in life where you feel like you’ve taken a step in a certain direction, or just looked around knowing that there are certain other paths it is now impossible for you to take.

I read this in an interview with Mike Patton for Filter Magazine some years ago and it resonated deeply with me.

“I can’t remember the exact moment or the day but it sort of happened over time. I think you realise it more when you see how you fit into the scheme of the real world, when you come home and realise that everybody’s out partying on Friday night and you’re home working without even thinking about it… without trying, without forcing yourself, and realising, you know, that it isn’t work, that it’s you. It’s just you and there’s not a lot you can do about it.

It’s a knee-jerk battling reaction and for me it’s expensive, but I just had to do it. And I will do it, and I’m lucky enough to be making a living doing it so I can do it all the time. But you know, you realise that yeah, it’s no joke anymore, or if nothing else the joke’s on you and you’re in this. You’re a lifer.”Mike Patton

There’s not really much for me to add to this. It captures that feeling when you’ve found that thing in your life that nothing else compares to.

Maybe I’m just working my mind progressively further down one particular funnel, but I can’t imagine a point in my life where music, writing and generally expressing my creativity is not a central feature of my existence. It becomes more of a necessity for me on an almost daily basis.

If I hadn’t known it before, my realisation came in recording in Ireland last summer.

No matter what time I went to bed in the night, I was up the next day at 7. No alarm, nothing, just awake, alert, ready to GO.

I was working 12, 14 hour days, fully concentrating on what I was doing.

I would go running round the grounds of the castle some mornings, breathing mountain air, feeling alive, doing what I was supposed to be doing.

Compare this experience with the drudgery of waking up and forcing yourself to get out of bed to go to a job you hate doing. Not even because it’s such a bad job – it’s just not what you were built for.

“A man’s work is nothing but this slow trek to rediscover, through the detours of art, those two or three great and simple images in whose presence his heart first opened.”Albert Camus

They say every action we take, where we end up and what we do are down to our choices, but when my body and my whole being react like this and give me such obvious hints about what will lead me to happiness and fulfillment in life, what choice do I have?

Other than the one about whether I step up to the plate and take it or not….


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