Bowie, authenticity in the creative act and leaving your comfort zone

Have just seen this thanks to Bowie's film-maker son Duncan Jones' Twitter feed.

He practically quotes what I have always said about the moment I realised I needed to/was meant to/was being called to study Music further, i.e. at university. The feeling was very sudden and very compelling. I was 15 yrs. old, sitting on my bed with my grade 5 clarinet certificate in my hands. "There is something inside of me that one day I will find a way to express through music and I HAVE to find it." There were no two ways about it. I had to do this.

I'm still searching for that perfect expression of what's inside of me, but there are moments... when I'm leading the music (singing + guitar) with our staff worship band in a school Mass, for example, (most often during communion) or playing clarinet during communion in a Mass in a large church in France... when I forget where I am and the song or piece becomes an extension of myself, of my faith and love of God, of my thanks for all that he has done for me. I hope that during those moments something of the "authenticity" that Bowie describes is communicated to those who listen and we become joined in a divine communion.

The funny thing is, it's in arranging +/or performing other people's songs and music that I feel this the most. When it's something I've written myself it's almost as if it's too directly personal and I pull back from fully expressing myself. I feel happiest losing myself in other people's pieces and making them my own, tapping into the feelings of the person who wrote it.

Also, in the second half of the clip, Bowie describes leaving (or at least going to the edge of) your comfort zone as a necessity for creating something special. A common theme coming out of the preparation for our congregation's General Chapter in Rome in March is the idea, echoed by Pope Francis, that we are to go to the "peripheries", to reach out to those left by the wayside, those who are abandoned and forgotten. To do this, we as Christians, as religious Brothers, will have to leave our comfort zones and be creative in finding new ways to respond to Jesus' call to "Love our neighbours." I pray that we will have the courage to do this.


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