I know this is usually a question and answer website but I have a lot of heavy thoughts weighing on my mind today and I wanted to throw them out there.
It’s been hard to get out of bed this week, I have to force myself to do it. Depression is not normally my thing, I suffer from anxiety more than most people, but that is a different feeling altogether and I’m not feeling much of that right now. What I’m feeling is loss– this storm took so much from so many people, in some cases it took people’s lives. For me it took away something that can’t be fixed with money alone.
The shore is my personal refuge, and fishing is my therapy. I am a busy person and I have a lot of bad habits that go along with being a professional musician. I party too much, I smoke too much, I have very strange hours, these things come along with the job and most of the people I know that play music for a living are the same way, some are better at keeping in check than others. I’m good at keeping myself in check and know when to pull back a little. My peace of mind comes from my family, when I’m satisfied with my work, and the ocean–not just fishing, but the whole maritime package. Standing on the shoreline at 2am trying to catch a fish alone is something that is very dear to me. Sleeping in my trailer on the south end of Long Beach Island while it’s cold and the wind is howling out of the NE in late October is my therapy. Waking up to catch the change of the tide at 4am and pulling on my damp waders and hitting 7-Eleven for a coffee has been an annual fall occurrence for all of my years. It is one of the few things that I do completely alone. For the most part, I need to be surrounded by my friends and family ALL of the time, except for when it comes to fishing. I fish with like minded people who have no idea, nor do they care, that I’m in a band. These are my friends and associates, many of these people have lost their homes, their livelihoods, and in some cases all of their worldly possessions. I pray that time and a lot of work and people pulling together will eventually heal this. I can’t tell you how much I am grieving for them right now, and also for myself. I feel a giant black hole in my soul at the moment but I know that in time it will go away. I also feel empathy for people affected by the tsunami, or earthquakes, or Katrina, that I didn’t feel before quite as strongly. I now know what it must have been like for them, it isn’t just something on t.v. anymore, it happened right in my backyard, to a place that is sacred ground to me, a place where I have worked my whole life with aspirations to retire to. I want to raise my family, send my son to college, and move to the shore to fish out the later years of my life. That has been my goal since I started thinking about such things, ask anyone who knows me. Many of these entire towns are gone, burned down, washed away with the tide. They will be replaced by new dwellings in time I’m sure, I’m a glass half full kind of person and an eternal optimist but right now I’m hurting, and it’s nothing in comparison to what some of my closest friends are going through.
So……thanks for the ear, I ask that you please do what you can to help with the rebuilding efforts. Times like these bring out the best in people, and if you’re somewhere far away from here please remember that this isn’t just a story on the news this week, this is very real and if everyone helps just a little bit it will go a long way to helping the Jersey and NY coastal areas get back on their feet. And I promise to get out of bed tomorrow.