This is a story of triumph, so please bear with me because it might not sound that way at first. Happy endings aren’t worth a damn if there weren’t tears along the way.
I love writing and God. The love of those two intersect, in spite of my passion for other things. I love my wife and my children. I love to play music and dream melodies and yearn to create something beautiful and true.
I love the way the sun breaks when it’s rising over the Gulf of Mexico when I’m so far from land that the sea and sky are the world, and there is that perfect orange light born, glittering on the waves, and the hope of a good fish and that day sings in my chest. The best part, knowing that the next day will be just as good, infused with the same hope. For me, those moments have been few, and I’m blessed to remember them.
It is easy and dangerous to make the things we love God.
A mentor and friend, a brilliant songwriter far beyond me, convinced me that the only way to succeed was to be willing to sacrifice everything at the altar of writing. I listened to him and to my own demons and learned the wrong lessons. My friend would smack me in the back of my head now if we were sitting next to each other at a bar in Nashville. I have tears in my eyes remembering him and the way he made me a better writer, and I wish I could hear him say something sarcastic and kind.
Writing is not God, though we make it so.
Writers are not destined for pain unless they choose anguish. Joy is the lyric and the page and the melody and truth beneath. God is God.