Brianna, what are you up to lately? (ie. work,projects,interests)
I'm currently immersed in writing music and recording demos for my next project. I'm always journaling, meditating, getting into nature, and practicing self inquiry, which are especially important during times of creation to help the writing process. I came to a place a few moths ago where I began yearning for more truth and authenticity in what I was putting out into the world. I realized that being more authentic with myself, more truthful and real and loving with myself, would allow me to create the foundation from which I could, in turn, give those things to the world through my music.
What is moving you at this moment?
Lately I feel especially moved by stillness. Open-heartedness. Nature. Giving in to natural forces, the movements and happenings of life. I've noticed myself, this year more than any other, in sync with the seasons. Shedding layers and things that didn't serve me in the fall, hibernating - going within and storing up inspiration - during the winter, and now feeling a re-birth as the spring unfolds. Nature's dance is such a beautiful parallel to the dance of the human psyche. The more closely I observe one, the more I learn about the other.
I'm also endlessly inspired by my magical friends and peers. To see them pushing boundaries, making art and finding success on their own terms is enlivening. I find surrounding myself with inspiring humans to be one of the best remedies for the growth of my inner artist.
What is your relationship to poetry?
I've realized that the reason I love poetry, and also the reason that it's sometimes hard for me to put mine out into the world, is that it is a completely naked and raw way of expressing oneself. You don't have the dressings of melody, instruments and the layers of sensory experience to help you convey your message like you do with a song. With poetry, you take this series of letters on a page, naked and exposed, and hope that they alone can convey your experience of life in the world to others. But that is what makes good poetry so innately magical. Although music - the delicious pairing of poetry and sound - will forever be my number one, raw poetry and its quiet delivery of truth has, at times, had the ability to reverberate in my being in a more impactful way.
Can you remember the first words you fell in love with?
“I’ll love you forever,
I’ll like you for always,
as long as I’m living
my baby you’ll be.”
From the book Love You Forever by Robert Munsch
What is your earliest memory of writing?
When I was 8, just after I got my first guitar, I remember laying on the floor of my bedroom writing my first proper song. That moment of intense joy and feeling of purpose is ingrained in my mind. I still remember how the song goes: "Over the mountains and under the sea, we believe in what we see. Over the mountains and under the sea, we believe even more than we see."
Can you describe your current writing process?
There's an amazing book called The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. The entire book is about the necessity for the artist to move past resistance (which he deems the death of the creative). He speaks of many ways to do so, a big one being the concept of getting your ass in the chair and doing the work every day - so the muse knows where to find you. I've seen this practice do so much for so many. But it never worked for me. I think I was hard on myself because I wasn't able to create my best work by forcing myself to write music every day. It actually felt deadening to me. So I've re-discovered my personal definition of ass-in-the-chair to be tapping in every day. To read, to journal, to meditate, to talk to flowers, to engage in mentally and spiritually stimulating conversation with good people. To be around art and the making of it. That way, though I don't have a specific time slot for the muse to find me, I do have extremely fertile ground for her to sink her toes into and plant her goodness upon when she does come to town.
I find that the songs that I really love, the songs that touch other people and have longevity and timelessness are the songs that came through me fully. If you ever watch interviews with John Lennon, Bob Dylan, and the like, you'll see there's this lackadaisicalness in talking about their song writing. And the reason isn't because they don't care, it's because it's hard for them to accept the praise for something that they know they didn't create. They are fully aware that it came through them. Oftentimes part of a song will come through me and then when I'm trying to figure out a certain lyric or line or rhyme I'll get into my mind all of a sudden and it doesn't work, it doesn't feel authentic. I'm learning to focus more on tapping back into the initial feeling before I do anything further. Sometimes I have to bring the song to people who can see through the mind-manipulated parts and help me get to the root of the truth that wanted to come through. Lately, I've found it incredibly meaningful to call upon people who know me best to reflect back to me things I need to work on and the things that I may be judging that in actuality are raw and beautiful.
Where do your poems come from?
The good ones - from the muse. From necessity, from the heart, from the higher power. From my deepest truth.
How does poetry connect us as human beings?
Poetry, whether you're writing or reading it, is a literary train ticket to the true you. When you let it sink in, when you melt into it, it takes you to that place inside that is fully connected and innocent and pure and all knowing. Anything that brings us in tune with who we truly are, or cleanses our vessel, as poetry undoubtedly does, naturally allows us to connect with others from that place. Poetry helps us realize that we are not alone in our experience of, and relation to, this odd yet wonderful thing called life.
What is the path of love?
Following the wisdom of the heart.
What is the path of fear?
Living from the belief that we are separate. Separate from each other, separate from the higher power, the light from which all things came. To live from fear means living from the ego. Living from the small place in our minds that feeds us all of our past negative experiences and false beliefs that we've created (through our inability to perceive things correctly as children) and projecting them onto a future that has yet to be created.
My mom always told me this quote when I was younger: "fear is excitement without the breath." Fear is our ever-present excitement and knowledge of the truth in a dormant state. Void of life. Void of breath.
What is your biggest question for the world? If you have one..
What is one thing you can do today to remind yourself of your greatness?
What is your dream for the world?
Self love. When we are loving to ourselves we are loving to others. We let our light shine, we give our gifts to the world and we circulate kindness and positivity. From that place all things are possible. Peace is possible.
Who would you like to see interviewed on We The Tender Hearted?
Naomi Shon <3
photos by Naomi Shon