Creative Recycling

Years ago I wrote a poem that I’ve ended up using quite a lot on social website profiles in the ‘about you’ section. It was sufficiently mysterious while also being perfectly autobiographical, and it was easier to copy and paste the poem rather than to think of something else witty and interesting to say about myself. How better to represent myself as the arty ol’ farty I am than to describe myself with a poem? Even so, it’s been a long time since I revisited that poem or even considered it in passing.

Poets aren’t always songwriters and songwriters aren’t always poets. Occasionally, however, the two do meet together in the one, and you end up with Leonard Cohen…and me. Sometimes there are too many words and not enough music, while other times the words are not enough and there must be music to carry the few that are there. Ah, but now, I really do wax poetic. 😉

But, please, indulge me.

And, where do the lost and forgotten poems go? Is there a graveyard for the written and discarded rhyme? You may not remember those scribbled lines. But, rest assured, they remember you. You may forget the words, but the words never forget. And, if you’re quiet enough, you can hear their whispered echoes, reverberating beyond time.

And, this is what it is to be a poet.

And, this is what it is to be a poet who is also a songwriter…and, what it is to be me.

By Any Other Name (a big decision to make)

wpid-20140719_163024_20140720144052585.jpgI remember a long time ago when a publishing company wanted my mother (author and artist Ginilou DeMarco) to write her books under a non de plume (for the slightly less aware, an alias; for the just plain stupid, another name), she didn’t want to do it, and I couldn’t blame her. Part of having talent and sharing it is getting the credit for it as yourself. But, more and more I’m thinking that maybe, just perhaps, that is our ego talking: our bodies have these names, but our souls do not. And, so… I am considering releasing my next album under another name.

I love my name.  I always have.  My name is cool. It used to be very unique.  It isn’t anymore.  Unique, that is.  It is still cool (but, of course, I am biased).  I was proud of my name even back when people never got it right because only a very small handful of people had named their child “Autumn” (much less “Autumn Dawn” – I believe, I was the first…I may be wrong.  But, of all the Autumn Dawns I have subsuequently found out about, I am the oldest…making me the original since 1974) and I got called every other name starting with A instead of my name. Or, worse (and this still annoys me to this day, because I still get it occassionally), they would call me only by my middle name.  Ugh.  My name is Autumn Dawn.  Or just Autumn. It is NEVER “Dawn”!!!

In learning soul consciousness versus body consciousness (the internal and eternal as opposed to the external and temporary), I know that while this is my present name, it is not, however, who I am. This body’s name is Autumn Dawn, but I am a soul. And, the thing is, my music has never been successful under this name.

Now, the talent maybe associated with my body, I know.  But, creativity is a spiritual quality, an aspect of the eternal identity, the being or soul. And, specifically, music is definitely a spiritual thing.

So, these are my reasons for considering a release in another name.  Authors do it all the time (when they want to), and look at Prince, or the artist formally known as, Symbol, or whatever he is calling himself and releasing his music under these days.  And, many musical artists chose from the first to go by another name.  Of course, I know, Prince may not be a perfect example here, because he was successful as Prince…  but, yeah… anywho. Hopefully, you see my point.

While I am proud of my lovely name and proud of my gift (music), it isn’t much of a gift if it isn’t getting the exposure and getting out there.  A gift should be giving.  I have tried.  I have failed and failed and failed.  Well, “Autumn Dawn” has failed and failed anyway.

Thus, this serious consideration to release an album under another name (not sure what just yet).  I would really very much like to hear what other people (you, my readers) think about this.  Talk to me.  I’d appreciate some feedback here.  It’s a big decision.

 

 

 

Colours True (and a word about regeneration)

Firstly, please turn up your volume.

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For me, the original version of this song is the best. But, this picture and quote that I put up on my Facebook Page yesterday inspired this rendition of the song True Colours you are listening to now (or, you are if you turned your volume on/up as you were requested to).

This subject of knowing and being yourself, is at once so simple and so deep.

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I am presently going through what I call a regeneration (those of you who are Whovians will automatically get the reference) which began at the close of last year and is continuing on.  If you aren’t a Doctor Who fan…well, I feel very sorry for you…  um… leave now and go do whatever it is non-Whovians do.  Moving right along…  Regeneration.

When I posted this image on my FB page, I wrote this:

I’m regenerating.
It’s a process.
It isn’t just for Time Lords.
It can be painful…
but it is necessary in order to continue living.
I can’t promise you what you’re going to get.
But, the time has come…
and I AM regenerating.

This year I feel that, in and out, I am becoming myself. The outward display of that are the new tattoos and piercings. The inward display (the most important) is in my comittment to cultivate awareness and live in the present. In other words, meditation and mindfulness.

It’s about not diluting my colours for anything or anyone. It’s remembering. Discovering. It’s awareness. That with undiluted hues I may leave my mark on the world – not a watered down, dirty smudge, but a vibrant, beautiful work of true artistry.

Behind The Mask

We all wear masks. Sometimes you run into people who are convinced they want to see the real you. I always suspect this is like the person who says, “I really do want to know how you are”, but always ends up regretting asking the “how are you?” question if you are indeed honest with them about how you are doing. The only ones that can handle the people we are behind the masks we wear are the individuals who genuinely love us.

Only in the safety of real love can we begin to take the off our masks and confidently be ourselves with someone else. And, when I say love, I mean real lovebeyond a superficial affection that can change with the wind: love is a real, unchangable force. You either always love a person, or you never loved them at all. Love is constant. You can fall in and out of infatuation, you can fall in and out of lust, you can fall in and out of friendship, but you cannot fall in and out of love. And, anyone who says otherwise is lying to themselves and everyone else.

The truth is, while we do wear masks to protect ourselves, we wear them just as much to protect the other people around us. Most people simply cannot cope with who we really are.

What are some of the masks you wear?

Sometimes a mask becomes so much a part of us that we begin to even accept ourselves better with the masks on. Most people don’t like themselves, let alone love themselves, so it can become easier to be fake with yourself, as well. I know I do it. Vulnerability and authenticity – even with oneself – don’t always come easy. However, most of the time, I am rather brutally honest about my warts and all – to myself, anyway – and I’ve chosen to be painfully honest in this blog. As one blogger I admire puts it, “put away your rainbow and be real.” I think it’s nearly as annoying to be superficially positive all the time as it is to be genuinely negative 100% of the time.  I don’t sugarcoat much of anything. I can afford to be rather transparent. But, I assure, I have protected you from a lot that is me. I notice that when I do dare to share a bit more of who I am, it isn’t well-received. People just ignore it all together because…as I say, they can’t handle it.  If it doesn’t compute, if it makes your brain go tilt, if it isn’t really relatable to a wide audience, then it doesn’t make for the best blogging fodder, does it? Certainly, the number of likes I get on some posts, as opposed to the total lack thereof on others, confirms my theory. Then, I always end up coming back to the question, “Why do I blog?” To answer that question I must go back to the tagline I wrote when I started this blog.

While I’d love to touch a wider audience, this blogging experience is for me to express…MYSELF. Whether YOU can handle it or not, whether you like it or not.  I do this for the sake of the fragile, broken, wreck of a person behind the mask.

No One Else But Me (Behind The Mask)

Take it off

Put it down

All of these pretences

Curious?

Do you want to know

Who dwells behind the defences?

You should walk away

You should understand

The walls are there to protect you

Just as much as they are there to protect me

Behind the mask, behind the mask

There’s nothing you want to see

Behind the mask, behind the mask

There’s nothing you want to be

Behind the mask, there’s nothing left but me

Nothing else but me

Look at me

Feel the pain

And all that longs for freedom

Can you stand

To hold my gaze –

The anguished eyes of the broken

Please don’t walk away

You should understand

The walls come down only by love

Take that chance and you’ll find out

Oh, you’ll learn

You must learn

Behind the mask, behind the mask

There’s all that’s left of me

Behind the mask, behind the mask

Desperate to be free

Behind the mask, just scared to be

No one else but me

 – © Autumn Dawn Leader

Do Not Attempt To Dissect Me From My Art…

“Do not attempt to dissect me from my art: my art is the very essence – the deepest and truest expression – of who I am.” – Autumn Dawn Leader

When I first created this quote/picture, I did it out of frustration with people attempting to “get me to see my worth and value apart from my talent”. That never goes over too well with any artist (in any medium), really. It’s not that we are (all) unaware, or refuse to acknowledge, the other (perhaps good) stuff that’s in us.  It’s that we (primarily) want to be perceived and known by our “deepest and truest expression”.  So, that’s what this quote is about. I said it for all musicians, singers, songwriters,  painters, sculpters, photographers, etc. – all artists, everywhere.