I don’t know if everyone knows this but Liz and I (Lilli) started The Shiz under relative duress. I mean to say, when we decided to ditch Phoenix, AZ on account of Liz’s first real brush with bigotry back in January 2009, we felt pretty lost in the world. We landed in Hammond, LA, a place you only land when it was also the place from which you launched, and thought “What the hell? We’ve got nothing left to lose. Let’s start a band.”
We were pretty shaken, but we thought the situation gave us an opportunity to build our reality from the ground up. Here were the objectives:
- Place ourselves in an environment where at least a half-dozen people feel immediately compelled to treat us with kindness.
- Secure a living space that has warmth and personality but doesn’t require we sell all of our time to the highest bidder.
- Empower ourselves by listening to our inner wisdom and making something out of
whatever it speaks.
- Engage in creative work that is rich with truth, love and light vibrations (yes, I sound like a hippie, I know) as an offering to the world around us.
- Minimize on the time spent doing things we simply don’t want to do.
- Smile and laugh as much as possible.
I’m sure there were others but these were the fundamentals.
The truth is Hammond is the last place I thought I wanted to live, but in the time we’ve been in Louisiana we’ve seen our family grow. We’ve seen unlikely relationships foster healing where hope was all but lost. We’ve watched people we love struggle socially, mentally, emotionally and financially. We’ve experienced satisfaction. We’ve wanted more from our families, our band, each other. We’ve been broke. We’ve experienced abundance. We’ve been bored. We’ve been silly. We’ve been productive. We’ve procrastinated. We’ve watched our minds and the minds of
loved ones turn experience into distortion. We’ve felt anxious pangs tighten our chest, causing the natural rise and fall of the chest to draw too much attention to itself and betray our fears and yearning.
It’s been six months (give or take) and here’s what I’ve learned so far:
- Life is everywhere. Not just in the mountains. Not just in the city. Everywhere.
- I can’t save anyone from their suffering. They can’t save me from mine.
- Love is a good thing, but it only goes so far.
- Laughter is my best friend.
- Music is magic. I am proud to be a music maker.
- I really like Band of Skulls
I’m sure there is more, but those are the fundamentals.