A note on my absence.
I would like to let you all know that I am recovering from cancer at the moment. I’m feeling strong, and well, and very happy it was found, but I want to try and write openly about the subject as actually it does explain a lot about the last few years in which I haven’t really felt at all like myself.
I would like to express that I’m writing this not for your sympathy but because I feel (and have consistently, all the while felt) a lot of regret about the amount of time that has passed since I was uploading a lot of videos and releasing my own music. It was a beautiful period of my life with a magical relationship with my fans – that I just wanted to continue until the end of my days! Unfortunately, since really around mid-2011, my overriding experience has one of unease, malaise and fatigue that has waxed and waned – that I have experienced to different depths and extents – but for a long time, has really changed my personality a lot.
Of course, good health is such a fragile and precious thing… once you lose it, it’s a huge effort for anything else to really matter. I have missed so much to really feel like a musician, a composer… for life to be simple enough that music can feel important to me. I have missed the sense of my future coming towards me rather than feeling paralysed – stuck in the mud in the present moment. Today, the same as yesterday… no sensation at all of time passing… just everything moving as slow as a snail.
I’m actually happy now to have this enemy, with the face of cancer. This is something I feel hugely validates to me that this whole period of time I was pulled away from my love of music and the amazing people supporting and following me was not my choosing, not my fault nor responsibility. It feels cathartic to me – very much so – because the more time that passed, the more powerless I felt about the changes in my personality and physical health… the more difficult it was not to blame myself – to not become cynical about those things beyond my control.
I could still go through the motions at the piano, but I couldn’t find the relaxed focus and excitement for creating I always used to have within me. I could focus microscopically on intricate sections of music, but writing a song was like trying to look at an entire city and understand it’s inner workings; what held it all together. There was something fundamentally missing in my ability to grasp the logic or character of an entire piece of music – and before very long, music itself became something entirely abstract to me (as did reality, truth be told).
My coping method for a long time was lots of meditation, and lots of exercise, both of which are amazing for mental health and kept me very calm and relaxed. But I would like to give my deepest condolences to those many people out there dealing with cancer, likely the majority of them to much worse of an extent than I. I am now told by my doctor that after a short bout of chemotherapy, as far as this cancer diagnosis is concerned, I should be cured. And so, I am definitely one of the lucky ones.
Actually, I feel that I can speak with deeper understanding to any unfortunate souls out there experiencing states of depersonalization/dissociation – that sense of unreality that disallows the calm focus with which everyone needs to manage their lives effectively (the calm, still focus I am employing to be able to write this post now). I want to let you know that I absolutely understand how horrible this is, and I understand exactly how paralyzed – and ineffective – you must feel. Too much aware of your body, too much aware of everything…! Something’s not right, something’s different; a little thorn in your side, a little whisper in your ear. My heart goes out to you, also.
Since having the tumor removed, it’s been a shock to me to realise for the first time in a long while the exciting sensation of having strength, energy and youth, to be whistling the same songs I did when I was 25… to have an avalanche of memories returning with clarity – playing in Brazil, in New York, in Edinburgh – how I felt when making my videos and to be waking up almost with that same feeling of excitement again. Truly, it feels like waking up in my own body for the first time in years.
So, for me I feel like I’m practically out of the fog… and this is actually a time of celebration. I’m happy to have gone through everything I have the last few years to be feeling this way today – and ultimately, I hope it will have made me stronger.
Thanks so much to everyone who listened to my music in the past. Once back to 100%, I have many ideas to continue working on in the coming months.