Just back from Asheville where I witnessed the Friday night local hippie drum circle.
It’s like a scene out of The Matrix Reloaded complete with dreadlocks and shoeless homeless people who appear out of nowhere & dance like tweakers.
I will admit that a drum circle is not my thing. But what’s even worse for me are all the suburban, white, middle-aged tourists watching the hippies and drummers like this is so. totally. awesome. Except if a drum circle happened in their neighborhood, they would call a homeowners association meeting and figure out how to rewrite the bylaws so it doesn’t happen again.
But that’s the beauty of a town like Asheville. There are artists & poets & painters & dreamers who follow their passions at night — whether that’s a drum circle or a feminist puppet show — and serve food to tourists during the day. No one gets all twisted up about a bifurcated life. Not a lot of bellyaching about a lack of meaning or purpose. Nearly everyone I talked to knows who they are.
- Waitress/Barista/Bus Boy/Bartender/Book Store Clerk/Hotel Receptionist
So let me use my hippie voice and tell you what I learned in Asheville.
A job is just a job, man. It pays the bills. Don’t you see? You can buy paint, buy supplies, buy time, and buy ‘psychic distance’ from noisy cities like New York and Los Angeles. Your job is just a temporary space you occupy on this planet. It helps you create something down the road. It’s not about the job or the title, man. It’s about what you do after the job ends. It’s about art.
Okay, maybe I can’t write in a hippie voice. (All hippies say ‘man’, right?) But you get the point. Every local resident of Asheville we met had two jobs, worked long hours, and still managed to see himself/herself as an artist who had a purpose beyond the job.
You’re a musician. You’re a poet. You’re a painter. It’s too bad you are stuck in the body of an accountant or an HR chick. So do your job, do it with integrity, and then go join a hippie drum circle.
Even if it’s just for a moment, it can be pretty enlightening.