Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Taking Off The Mask

Last night I performed at an event whose theme was "Taking Off The Mask - Unveiling Your God-Given Identity".

The more I see the power that art has to heal and inspire the more the more I begin to understand the huge work there is to do as an artist. I have long understood that art is not just about something pretty on your wall, or a song to sing along with on the radio. It is a force in the lives of people, communicating pure ideas in ways that nothing else can. But recently, as I have been performing this spiritual music in front of audiences, I feel the gravity of the opportunity to really help - to do something that will touch the heart.

I have noticed people in my life, who, because of their confidence or their ability, their lack of fear, have shown me a new direction I could go, a new way I could live. I think of these people as "door-openers". I have a friend who is absolutely fearless about making jokes. He will make a joke in a situation in which most others feel constrained by self-consciousness. In these times, his willingness to be loose, his refusal to submit to self-consciousness, loosens up the feeling in the whole room. His freedom makes me more willing to make a joke, to step out on a limb. Taking off our masks of fear and self-consciousness reveal the amazing creatures we are.

This is what art and artists can do. The work of artists is not to create objects or songs. It is to unveil the God-creation within themselves. And the outcome of that work is beauty expressed. A powerful song, sung with conviction and poetry can open doors for the world to loosen up. It can give people a deeper sense of freedom and expression. It is a wonderful thing to sing openly about love, honesty, freedom - all kinds of things. And this happens when the mask is taken off. Then we see that we are not living in a mundane world, but rather, we are living in a deep and poetic spiritual creation.

Below are some lyrics from my song "Nothing To Hide". This was one of the theme songs of the performance last night. Listen to it here: http://www.myspace.com/alexcookmusic

Brightly to you all!

The sky is wide, that’s what I feel inside

I let it go, that weight of horrible pride

And now I’m flyin’ up above it, cuz I gave up the sham

Thank God, thank God, I’m who I am

Dontcha know, dontcha know?

You’re already perfectly clad

Like a precious stone, theres nothing to add

And you go walking past the hawkers tryin’ to sell you a line

But you don’t need nothing’ you already shine

And the sky it churns with promise when your life is honest

Everybody say amen

It’s the end of all the hurtin’ when you drop your heavy burden

I don’t care how bad you’ve been

The world is full of lies, but I’m gonna be slick as a fish

I’ll slip through their fingers, free as you wish

Because I know just who I am, and I’m not playin’ a part

My every day, is from the heart

There ain’t no cloud, hangin over my head

I got nothing to hide and I got nothing to dread

And now I’m flyin’ up above it, cuz I gave up the sham

Thank God, thank God, I’m who I am

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