Monday, November 19, 2007

Waiting at The Crossroads

"I went down to the crossroads, fell down on my knees.
Asked the lord above for mercy, save me if you please."

Robert Johnson from "Cross Road Blues"


This is supposedly where the legendary Blues guitarist Robert Johnson made his deal with The Devil (by the way the photo is public domain you assholes at Blogger - I suggest you quit pissing me off too). The story goes that Johnson made a pact with Lucifer itself, trading away his soul to become the greatest Blues player of all times. Whether true or not Johnson is undoubtedly renowned for that title. Not only is that scene parodied in the movie Oh Brother! Where Art Thou? but he's influenced countless modern guitar legends such as Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Joe Perry, Stevie Ray Vaughn and scores of others that you may know.

The idea of "the crossroads" most often represents a sinister, confusing, and most difficult time in one's life. We have all found ourselves standing on the side of a dusty, lonely, abandoned intersection of life. This is where you can find me at this moment.

For the record I'm not seeking the advice of an attorney to look over the fine print of some contract I'm considering to sign in blood. All the same I feel every one of those emotions mentioned and perhaps more. I returned from Columbia today feeling very much a failure and in need of confirmation about my choice of becoming a full time artist.

A little over a year ago I started this blog just before my festival season ended. If you look back at my archives you'll see the same fears and doubts about making it through the winter months after weathering several unsuccessful shows. A little over 365 days later I'm at the same cross road.

I didn't make expenses for the first time since the spring Craftsman Classic in Greensboro, North Carolina. The fact that I am extremely weary and emotionally drained doesn't help. The past five days have been the most arduous and difficult since I began doing this three years ago and I now face another weekend just like it back in Greensboro over a holiday that I've never missed being with my family. Forty four years of my life I have been with at least part of my family for Thanksgiving. This year I will leave early Thursday morning, set up my booth in the afternoon, and hope that Cracker Barrel stays open long enough to serve a turkey dinner.

After a night's rest I'll share with you the only good that came from this past weekend which was being with my true best friends and family on the road. My two "art sisters" were directly across from me for the first time: Christy Buchanan and Courtney Tomchik. Not only are they talented artists but they are incredible friends who are now a part of my own family.

On top of the usual stress of returning home, Ben was sick over the weekend. In fact Joan is absolutely drained herself. She hit the bed as soon as she got home. According to her Ben had his worst seizure she's ever witnessed about 4AM this morning.

If you've read this blog for any length of time you'll know that we've had our struggles with God. As I drove home today my discussion with "the almighty" can't be reprinted here. My faith is at an all time low. I do not know why we have been singled out for so much suffering, hurt, and pain but it is an incredible weight upon us. We are exhausted. We are way more than frustrated. We no longer think God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, Jehovah, Yaweh, what ever the hell you want to call that guy has anything good for us.

Sorry for the rant but if you want the truth, I say screw him. He has been no friend, healer, leader, etc. And please don't send e-mails telling me how wrong I am. I appreciate you being here. I respect your beliefs or whatever. I also know many of you are walking difficult paths and I'm sorry I'm selfishly spewing. I don't want your feel-sorry-for-us sympathies. We are just frigging hurting. Hurting like someone is peeling scabs off of our hearts. Hurting like as in tears that won't dry up. Hurting as in "please, take me now - I can't take any more."

I don't want "don't doubt God" blah-blah-blah e-mails. We've been there, done that. Sorry to bust the Christian folk's bubble but the God of Abraham and Jesus has made it clear that he's the God of Job too. We're sick of it. Literally sick of it. We need something good. Perhaps we'll find it at The Crossroads.

By the way, I will NEVER do a show or any work in Columbia, SC again. Not only have we not been paid yet by EdVenture Museum, the place is an art Hell Hole. If you want to make a difference for us e-mail the EdVenture Museum in Columbia, SC and ask why they haven't paid the $1900 invoice we gave them. For those that don't remember this is work we did back in SEPTEMBER.

5 comments:

Gretchen said...

Ha! I emailed them.

Don't know what else to say.

Gert

Kyla said...

Bennie,

I'm not going to give you the don't doubt God speech...but I will say that things just make no sense sometime. My friend Katie just lost her mother and this week her son is in the hospital and they are being told "off the record" (as in not officially yet) that her son's only option will most likely be discharge from the hospital and hospice care until, well, you know. How can all that happen to one sweet, loving, kind person? I don't understand it. There should be a limit on suffering. THERE SHOULD BE. But there isn't. And there is nothing you or I can do about. It sucks and it makes no sense to have such suffering and I have a hard, hard time reconciling it to my belief in God. But faith isn't protection from suffering (ask Jesus, LOL), it is a foundation to rebuild on when you lose it all. It gives you the ability to have hopes past the struggles you are sinking in at this very moment. Is it rational? No. Is it fair? Definitely not. Do I have a hard time with it? Yes, yes, yes. But I can't imagine not having it. And so I scream and yell and tell Him how wrong He is...but the thought of not having Him to go to and dump all that anger and pain on? I don't think I could function that way. Life sucks sometimes, really, really sucks. And it is okay to be pissed and doubt and even turn your back. We're human, Bennie. It is hard. The thing is, when you're ready, if you're ever ready, to turn back around, there He is. And that is the comfort.

PS: You have my EXPRESS permission to delete this if you want. NO hard feelings whatsoever. This is your space and if this isn't what you need or want to hear right now, it is a-ok. I would understand 100%.

Gretchen said...

Kyla--beautiful and so true. I'm glad Bennie has such good friends.

Ben & Bennie said...

Kyla, how could I delete something like that from someone who walks the walk and talks the talk?

PJ said...

I hear you and have been there from time to time. (for very different reasons) Life is so unfair! But Kyla says it best! May you find some sunshine...soon!

Blessing to you, Joan, and Bennie.

(And I am going right now to email EdVenture Museum)