“Music speaks what cannot be expressed, soothes the mind and gives it rest, heals the heart and makes it whole, flows from heaven to the soul.” Anonymous
In the spring of 1976 I was sitting and admiring the view from a high bluff overlooking the English Channel, it was truly awe-inspiring. Pinch me I’m dreaming; here I am living in Liverpool, England, the home of the Beatles and performing throughout Great Britain as a drummer in the hard rock band, “American Train”. This was a dream come true.
But sitting up here, basking in the sunshine and the gentle breeze was also bringing up other thoughts; the kind I had been suppressing for years. The ones that caused fear and shame…the images and the memories of what had been done to me as a child by my perverted parents and their friends. Another thought and feeling came into focus, I felt some semblance of peace being over here, this was the first time I ever felt safe. I had this huge ocean to separate me from my parents and their cruelty. I felt alive….
Hindsight is 20/20 – I can look back and realize that my feeling safe gave me the ability to start writing songs that captured the thoughts and feeling that were swirling about in my head. I wanted to write rock and roll songs about life, love, women and being in a band, but what came out was exactly the opposite – I wrote about the abuse, the dissociation and the disdain I had for my mother.
Out of my Mind©
Out of my mind, no sense of time, feels like they’ve shut all the doors
Waiting to see, what will it be, hoping they can’t do no more
Knowing it’s done, what you’ve become, you just don’t want to decide
Who will you be, what will you see, feels like you just want to die
And the time is lost, but what’s the cost for you, yeah you….
And you want to see but you just can’t feel
Woman, what are trying to do, who are you trying to fool, playing by your rules
Wasted my time, you were full of lies, easy to see, it wasn’t me
I can’t explain, oh the pain, what’s in my head, fills me with dread….
“Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.” Kahlil Gibran
Music has always been a life-saver for me and now it was helping me to express my thoughts and feelings – I still wasn’t strong enough [or ready] to disclose who I was writing about and why, but it was a start, a healthy start for putting things out there and relieving some of my angst. Drumming was another integral part of that healing…and being able to write hard rock songs that conveyed my sadness, fear and rage were the stepping stones to a lifetime of learning to express myself through my music and helping to give me a voice and eventually voice the pains and hurts of others.
It is so important that we all express our creative endeavors – everyone one of us is creative, find your voice, your art, your passion and sing loud and sing it proud…you deserve it and the world needs to hear and see you for who you are – a beautiful being of love and light.
Take care, Mike Skinner
“There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.” Edith Wharton