Close but No Cigar

Being caught in between the brink of disaster and greatness is the craziest place to be. What in the world are you supposed to feel when you are almost there, but so incredibly far away? There is a point in your life where the light at the end of the tunnel is indeed visible, but there is no assurance that you will actually get there.

This was the vain in which I wrote Zer0 & 1ne - I felt trapped. I knew that I was close to getting out of the darkness. I saw signs of life, and hints of light. I imagine that hell looks different for different people. For me, hell is not reaching maximum potential. Hell is not hitting optimal velocity. Hell is not hitting my full stride. Hell is being normal.

I just got off listening to the Kiss FM interview. I wanted to document this feeling because many of you can relate. Though the interview was decent and the vibe was close to what I was hoping for, I can't help to think that this may be the "level" I attain as an artist. If I can objectively describe where I am at - I would say I am slightly above a hard working, independent artist with a decent record deal. This may be my lot in life - I won't make the prime time interview slot, but I may get a bone thrown here and there. I may not hit Staples Center, but I can probably sell out a decent college tour. I may not get a Grammy, but I may catch a local community award or 2.

What is it about the glimpse of something amazing that makes our hope shrivel into a small ball of confusion? What is it about a positive step in your career that makes you think that this will be as positive as it can get? This passageway is the cause of many sleepless nights, consistent worry, and oppression that words can never aptly portray. Many of you have not been in the game long enough to even experience this feeling. This is not an attack on you - it's just a warning that there will be a point that you will get to this point. I have been talking about music for over 10 years now. I understand that 10 years is not much - but when you are 27, 10 years is a lifetime. I have the worry that this may be my prime - Bovard Auditorium and similar events may just be what I'm supposed to do.

It is here that I remain - here that I stand - here that I wrestle with my calling in such a deep and agitated way. What more do I have to give? How many more songs will it take? How long must I wait? Oh Lord - have you forsaken the dreams that you gave me so early on?

And then --

I remember the music. I love music. I love the way melodies come over rhythms. I love lyrics and phrasings - I love words that make sense only because you say it a certain way. I love the piano. I love the strings. I love the Opus. I love the moments of "duende" that words will never express. I enjoy my craft. I will scream my thoughts and sentiments so that when this world fades away, my Creator will say "Well Done." I want that nod from Him so badly. I want His face to light up. I want His affirmation. I want to salute Him - as a father, as a leader, as a mentor, best friend, and confidant. I want to be His best soldier. I want Him to know I gave everything - every ounce of blood, sweat, and tears - for Him alone. Whether it is Kiss FM, the church, the streets, or the stadiums - He will be known - in a category, or no category. Close but no cigar - oh well. Peace, and much love to you - John Baptist!

June 25.


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  2. this brought tears to my eyes - It's so powerful bc its feels like the duality between a strengthened grip yet an inability to reach fully what is being reached for!

    The only consolation or perspective I can think of is that Paul felt the same thing and probably felt it all his life - "Not that I have already obtained it or have become perfect, but I PRESS ON so that may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:12

  3. Bro, God is using you more than you know. I was listening to your CD in my car and someone asked me "who is this?", it allowed me to talk about your story (loosing your mom), our relationship in IV and how God grew us, and eventually talk about how your story gave me strength to deal with the passing of my own mother just over a year ago. I talked about God's grace in giving us community and friends to speak truth into our lives.

    Your music was the tool God used to open some great spiritual doors. Did your music touch him in an arena? No, but he was touched nonetheless, and God continues to use your music in ways that you'll probably only fully know about when you arrive in heaven and he shows you your full impact in this world.

    I believe God is at work in ways we don't see. Its the school of fish below the surface and until Jesus tells you to throw the net, you would have no idea was even there. Don't worry about your reach, God loves to make our reach further than we can ever imagine. Be encouraged brotha, you are doing the work of God and when you do that, you cannot be thwarted, his word will prevail, it will get out and it will achieve its purposes. Obey Him and his call and trust that he is at work.




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