Tuesday, August 17, 2010

when I needed it most

Okay, so, I'm going to go totally geektastic on all of you. Or maybe it's pure dorkaliciousness. But anyway, before I get to the sweet goodness of it, I need to describe what this means to me, and where I'm coming from.

I'm coming completely clean. You may not know me in real life or you may. Either way, I've been keeping secrets for a few months. And you know what secrets do? They eat away at you. I've thought that I should keep this blog as impersonal as possible, but that's just silly. The only thing people can really connect to are things in others that they can personally relate to. Our perceptions of others revolve around our own personal experiences. So, I have nothing to lose telling you all this, except my guilt and shame. The funny thing is, I've considered writing about this before, but I felt like I would be judged and therefore I would feel more guilt and shame. But what I sometimes forget, especially when I have an unwelcome guest in my home (I'll get to that in a little bit), is that the only person who has the power to make me feel anything is myself. One of my favorite quotations is, "Those who matter don't mind, and those who mind don't matter." I'm rambling... so I should move on and be more concise.

I've been going through a lot of changes in my life in the past few months. I'm in recovery - I've eradicated alcohol and marijuana from my life and I've been completely sober for over four months without a single slip or relapse. Some can handle those chemicals in a healthy manner and be functional (or not), but not me. I have an addictive personality, which is both a blessing and a curse. Stopping cold turkey was hard, but an absolute necessity, which in a way made it easier. I've also been trying to find a way out of my current living and home environment and start living independently, since I'm living with family that uses said chemicals quite frequently in my presence. Plus, I'm 24 - it's way past time I leave the nest. Overall I'm struggling to create freedom from the chains that hold me down. The biggest, heaviest chain, it seems, is the beast. Depression.

If you've been following my blog for a while, you know I've written about the beast before. And it can change; it sneaks in with slightly different disguises so you don't know to kick it out before it has already overstayed it's welcome. It always does its best to convince you that it's your friend, your companion, your confidant, so that when it's already made itself at home with you, you're afraid you'll be completely alone without it. It's a cunning, baffling and powerful little monster. It's (usually) never as powerful as the last time it made it's way into my home, but it's still quite sneaky. It blocks up all the windows and doors - there's hardly any sunshine, there's no sweet breeze, but worst of all, there's no way out - until you make it leave. But you can't just wish it to leave, hope it to leave or tell it to leave - you have to kick it out the fucking door. And only you can do it. No one can sweet-talk it away for you, no matter how much they love you. But the very frustrating thing is, it knows how to pick locks. One of these days I'll learn how to keep it out for good.

Anyway, enough talk about the malicious bastard. So, I've been listening to a lot of music lately. It's one of my many coping mechanisms. And lately I've been going back to my roots - choral music. There are many, many great pieces out there that uplift me, but by far my favorite composer is Eric Whitacre. He's the composer that wrote/arranged Lux Aurumque, the choral piece I put in my last post.

He is a compositional genius. I realize that choral music isn't everyone's cup of tea, but take 20 minutes out of your very busy day and I dare you to listen to these songs (which are three of my favorite pieces) and NOT get chills. But keep in mind, there is no substitution to hearing a top-notch choir (like the Concordia College Choir or VocalEssence [which both happen to be Minnesota choirs - we Minnesotans really know how to sing] in a live space. You just can't reproduce the sound, even with professional equipment and recordings.

I had been listening to these 3 songs yesterday and today. After a particularly rough weekend, I had been trying my best to get my beast off my back. They helped immensely, but I still felt I couldn't shake it completely.

Then out of the blue this past afternoon I receive an email, which reads:


A fan sent me a link to your blog entry "Light and Gold", and that got me snooping around your site, and I was compelled to write you a quick note. SUCH beautiful work! Truly gorgeous, inspired images - you have such an eye for the delicate and the subtle.

Perhaps our paths will one day cross; until then, please know that you have a new fan in Los Angeles.

With much admiration,
Eric Whitacre

I thought at the beginning of writing this post, that I was going to go all gaga about what this email means to me, but there's not much more to say. Except, it's furthered my belief in my understanding of how the world works, my spirituality, the law of attraction, and that there is no such thing as a coincidence.

I'm flying free and high as a bird waaaay above the clouds. I'll be up here a while.

I feel like this:

The deepest, heartfelt thanks goes to Eric, a true inspiration, who took a couple minutes out of his day to look and to tell me what he thought of my art, at a time when I needed it most.


Matthew Scherfenberg.


Edadian said...

Thank You for sharing this story. I admit I didn't listen to the music but then I should be in bed instead of writing this. I have made a note to check it out later.

I have been following your blog for a bit but mostly for the pictures, they are so beautiful and I wish I could shoot that well.

That two timing beast! I thought I was the only one he visited. I know I'm not alone and it is nice to hear how others are coping. Thanks again for the inspiration.

David Winge said...

Very Incredibly Awesome!!!

Mark C. Haskins said...


You bring joy and beauty to the world. You are valued greatly. I’m proud to call you, Brooke, my friend.

Dave Levingston said...


Candace Nirvana said...

you're a pleasure and a treat. visually, as an artist and in your honesty. Congrats on your sobriety. it takes far more than dedication to confront and deter the beast, regardless of the form it takes when it comes.

Sully said...

thank you for sharing that secret, although it is a fact of life that people have part's of their lives, that they rarely share except with significent others.

Just remember, what does not kill you, can make you stronger.

The lessons that hurt the most, are the ones we learn the most from.

The only person who has any control in your life is you...

I hope your life continues to be blessed, and may you find the path to your dreams.



Photo Anthems.com said...

Congratulations, Brooke!

Ella Rose said...

What an amazing example of synchronicity. It must have been wonderful to read that email! I've started following your blog and look forward to seeing/reading what happens when the beast disappears forever. :-)