Jon Foreman on "Making a Living"

Some of the quotes that stood out to me:

Like a newborn child, real life comes out painfully, awkwardly, delicately. As a pearl is formed only when the oyster is agitated with sand, the most important moments in my life were born out of friction. The art comes from the awkward ache. The knot in my stomach usually teaches me more than comfort ever could. The sculptor’s chisel carves away at the block to bring something new into being. In the same way, we hammer away at the world we’re given to bring something new into being. We re-appropriate the past and present to create the future — breath by breath.

This world is a hand-me-down. It was given to us by our parents — women and men much like ourselves. Human beings in love, human beings rejected, human beings hungry, restless, apathetic and hopeful: ever-changing, ever-adapting. Yes, the human soul is a bundle of conflicting desires. […] Even our hopes are at odds with each other. The rent? The relationship? The career? The vacation? Our dreams rarely line up. It’s messy stuff, but these are the raw materials that life has given you. You had no choice as to where your journey begins, but the choice is available to you now. You could argue that you didn’t choose to be born, that there are factors of your existence over which you have little or no control. It’s true, these are the contingencies we were born into. Your heart, your bones, your soul, your sexuality — these were given to you. Given to you as a painter is given a canvas and a brush. Given to you as a sculptor is given a block of marble. St Francis of Assisi said that “He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist.” Your artistry? Your craft? You are making a living. 

Tom Morrello once said that […] “Music is like sausage. You love the final product but sometimes you don’t want to see how it’s made.” It’s one of my favorite stories to tell. I love finding something beautiful within the bizarre. Grace within contingency.* Because after all, that’s what music is. That’s what life is. Re-appropriating the scraps we have at hand in an attempt to create something truly magnificent. Crafting timeless beauty out of our own temporal specific circumstances.

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