Everyone is a Musician

October 12, 2004

If you ever visit Los Angeles and a comment is made about someone writing a screenplay, you’re likely to hear someone immediately reply, “Everyone’s writing a screenplay.” Nashville is eerily similar. Everyone’s writing a song. Everyone’s a musician. Except me, I’m a barista. I make coffee for the musicians, the songwriters, the record execs and everyone trying to get near these people. I keep this town going. Arguably, I have the most important job in Nashville. Emphasis on the “arguably”.

Writing screenplays, making movies, writing songs, writing books, acting, singing, painting, dancing. The common denominator is that people everywhere have something they want to communicate. Each person chooses to communicate in a way that suits who they understand themselves to be and what form is best suited towards their talents. What would the world be like without these creative outlets for communication? Boring.

The world is speaking. Are we listening? Humanity is crying out from every corner of this world and our ears and hearts must be attentive to its voices. I’m endeavoring to hear the heart of the issues behind the voices. What people say and do—what they create, how they communicate—is a reflection of a deeper truth or a deeper passion that lies within them. I started a new job today at a coffee house (a real one, this ain’t no Starbucks), and I’m working with people who are champions of self-expression, whether through having tattoos or piercings, living a homosexual lifestyle, creating artistic expression or writing songs. I have a decision to make in my conversations with them. What will I choose to hear? Will it be the blaring noise of in your face political views or body art, or will I choose to hear a person? A human being that longs, just like I do, for a place to belong. A person who desperately desires, just like I do, to be loved because they are themselves. Because they have infinite value as God’s unique creation.

I’ve always wanted to be a musician, and I’ve almost succumbed to the fact that I really don’t have the talent for it. But I make music in other ways. I’ve made excellent music. I have also hit plenty of wrong notes, and I wonder what people heard when I’ve played the wrong notes. Did they hear a part of humanity in need of compassion and ridiculous love? Or did they here a mess? I happen to believe that music made in the melancholy and dark minor keys is more interesting than that which is written in the more bright major keys. Those are some of the most beautiful songs ever made. The people we’ve been trained to see and treat as different, dark and distasteful are truly the most interesting, and the songs of their lives harmonize beautifully with Jesus’ own song. Everyone’s a musician.

“Everyone is singing. We just want to be heard.”

–Patty Griffin [Top of the World]


One comment

  1. sing it girl. Just sing it.

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