Inside symmetry takes hold again, division leaves the fold
All the time required, I find myself the most surprised
A rejoining combination brings us back to almost whole
But all the time required, I find myself the most surprised
– from the song The Turns

I just released my first official piece of work into the world, an album of original music called Story. The album itself is an autobiographical re-telling of my journey coming through the most painful and difficult moment of my life, a “moment” which lasted for years.

The impetus for writing the record was an identity shattering romantic relationship; my first love.

Because of this relationship, I know what addiction is. I know what it means to return to something again and again, powerless against the temptation, even though you know it is horribly damaging to you.

I know what it is to be betrayed, and to have the shock of this betrayal turn slowly but certainly into mistrust, fear, and erosion of self-worth. True loneliness.

I know what it is to ask yourself, over and over, “If something was so real and so true, how could it have ended? And, more importantly, “Will I ever truly be able to trust anyone again?”

When it was through, the story only showed me
How a life could get torn open, many ways

When it’s pulled apart, without a seeming reason
There at first, it’s not a thing to comprehend

But there’s only one of two ways that can go
And every story has to have a finished end
– from the song Easier

So this was the starting point of the record, and of the very uncertain journey of getting back to a place of emotional health; emotional well-being.

Art was the thing that got me through it. It was the belief in something that, while a deep expression of my inner self, was outside of myself, and, at its core,communal.

The writing and producing of this record felt very much like ‘playing’ with the material of the universe. In the moments of feeling otherwise completely alone, I had found the beginnings of reconnection. I could feel that it was my way back, back to a version of myself that I wanted to be, back to goodness, and strength, and wholeness.

And so I truly came to regard this music, this art and art-making, as my religion, and as the foundation of my renewed ability to believe in anything. (I would also be very remiss here to not acknowledge a very loving and supportive family, as well as a handful of truly great friends).

I used this music to work out everything I was feeling, questioning, cursing, and finally, hoping. It was through it that I actually rediscovered hope.

I wrote words about being in a better place in hopes that they would become a self-fulfilling prophecy; that these words (hopes) would take root inside of myself and grow into truth, transforming the feeling of my existence along the way.

So where am I now?

While I am happy to report there has been very real growth, there is still a very long way to go.

What am I looking for that I haven’t found?

After thinking about this long and hard, over years, during feelings of success as well as feelings of failure, I’ve come to think that this is just the way it is. In a very real way this sense of incompleteness, of desire, keeps me, and maybe all of us, pushing forward.

Which doesn’t mean, of course, that I’ll ever stop looking for what I would consider “true” contentment, but I think it’s more like I’m still on the journey of trying to really feel content in spite of my discontent, my unending desire.

I still want to feel good as much of the time as possible, and I thinkthat I do things because I believe in some way they’ll get me to that place – but I’m also highly skeptical of this “destination” oriented way of looking at it.

I want to know and live the feeling of being truly content with the journey alone, while I’m going through it, every day, and always being consciously thankful for it, which is something I have varying degrees of difficulty doing.

And lastly, is there a happy ending? And are we right to persist in believing, above all other things and despite any temporary evidence to the contrary, in love, and in the hope of love for every one of us?

All I will very happily say is that the universe did not lead me astray on that one, for which I am supremely grateful. But that’s another story (and another album 🙂

Meanwhile, all of my very best in all of your important journeys,

David

What is your experience in terms of your ability to be content with the journey alone?

 

David Bronson is a singer-songwriter/producer living and working in New York City. His debut album, Story, took the better part of a decade to complete, and retells the autobiographical journey of a young man’s loss of hope and identity following the death of first love, and the prolonged, arduous, and life-changing journey to re-find them.

David also writes his thoughts, feelings, and observations about existence on his writings blog, where you can subscribe to receive new writings as emails.