“[Self Reflection] A glimpse of what’s on the other side of the stage – past, present and future.”
As morbid as it sounds, I feel like I’m currently writing down a Eulogy for a dear friend. I don’t really know to whom I’m writing, or the reasons for which I’m writing in the first place. In all honesty, maybe it really doesn’t matter all that much. Sometimes you’ve just got to do something for the sake of doing it, rather than with the intention of achieving an ulterior goal.
I am currently laying in bed while listening to Now, Voyager. I have to be honest, this isn’t something I do very often. It’s definitely not something I do with the pretentious intent of jerking my own tube sock, or giving myself an ego boost. It’s just something I do when I feel lost, and I need to remember a better version of myself.
As the songs play one by one, I can’t help but be overtaken by a wave of nostalgia. The notes ring through the speakers, taking me back to better days when things felt a lot simpler. Every chord, every beat, and every word still resonates with the effort, sacrifice, and emotions that went into creating them. The memories associated to them dance away in the back of my head, like a torch’s flame blowing in the wind, fighting to stay lit. To many (or a few), these are nothing more than a collection of songs created by an unknown band. To me, they are a story of 5 beautiful years. They are a testimony to the fruits of hard work and commitment. They are also a stark reminder of the inevitable change that comes with time.
The songs feel very much alive, recanting earnest tales of the passion shared between 5 very different people. It’s all so bittersweet to relive. Blasting through the ‘Seas’ EP followed by ‘Tell-Tale Hearts’, I can’t help but smile when I realize the unbelievable adventures we’ve lived. The irrefutable fact that a vision and a bond of friendship could have led to crossing so many things off my bucket list. How fortunate we were to have experienced those things together. How incredibly insane to have done it all, and shrugged off every naysayer that stood in our way. I would say we were dreamers, but really, we were Voyagers, destined to embark on a journey together. We never knew what would happen, and we were never sure of anything at all. If anything, among our inner-circle of friends, we were notorious for being completely incapable of making decisions. “Les Bras Cassés” is what they called us. The “Broken Arms” team in English. My point is, there were no expectations. We just set out to do something, because we believed in it with all our hearts. With ‘Tell-Tale Hearts’’ closing, I reminisce back to the entire significance of that EP. Sometimes, I wonder if maybe it wasn’t foreshadowing our looming demise. That’s the part of the story I have learned to accept. It offers some form of finality. “I will follow the heart” never held so true.
Sadly, with 5 years comes a lot of change. Like vultures, we scavenged away, each trying to maintain our own interests. I watched us grow in different directions, slowly losing the thin layer of magic that tied us all together. The common goals and desires took a back seat to the steadfast afflictions of individuality. Frustrations grew and feelings were hurt, yet no one was willing to make compromises. We’d hit a wall far greater than China’s. Finally, the cold and calculated logic of the mind was taking precedent over the warm and wonderfully erratic tendencies of the heart. The daring, unquestioning boys we once were, had turned into uncertain and fearful men. Suddenly, we were no longer doing it just for the sake of doing it. Somewhere, I think we created a tsunami’s worth of pressure for ourselves, and just waited for it to come crashing down. Sure, it’s hard to repress that awful sensation that we abandoned something special. The end felt an awful lot like watching someone you love die slowly on a hospital bed, and deciding whether to pull the plug. The entire process was painful, and there was no hope left to be found.
So we euthanized our love, hoping to redeem whatever was left us in the wake of our decision.
Yes, it is all very bittersweet. The taste of failure still follows me like a bad omen. I can’t shake off the feeling that this is a story that lacks a proper ending. The hopes and visions of my future still clash with the reality of my present. This is the part that I can’t seem to fully accept. I can re-listen to our EP’s with complete satisfaction because they offered chapters that were closed, with no questions left to ask. The issue is that my heart skips a beat when I go over the material we were working on for an album. I still feel the same level of gut-wrenching excitement as I play through them, because I can hear the story they’re aching to tell. At the same time, I feel like we’ve let these songs down by denying them the right to exist. To feel like these songs were never truly born, and will never be able to tell their story leaves me with grief that I can’t seem to put into words. Most days, I find myself pleading for my heart and my brain to reconcile. Maybe then an answer could be found.
I don’t know whether the Now, Voyager hiatus will ever come to an end. I don’t know whether our goals and individualities will ever be able to reconcile and realign to set forth on the path we had began creating. What I do know is that the concept of Now, Voyager lives on, so long as the story we started writing remains unfinished. I’m a firm believer in cycles, and you can’t fully move on until the past cycle is completed. Sometimes, it just takes a bit of time to mend the wounds and come back anew.
Whether that will ever come true remains to be seen. The best thing I can do is keep spinning these babies, and remember a better time when I was a fearless renegade with nothing to lose, and everything to prove. A period of my life where I had purpose, and truly felt like I was a part of something special. For all the struggles and letdowns, I have absolutely no regrets of what we’ve done. If I had to do it all over again, I would do it all in a heartbeat. To my band mates, all I can say is that I am grateful we shared that passion together, because those stories will forever be priceless. We created a world for ourselves that no one else could quite grasp, and we dreamed hard enough for them to come alive. For that, there will never be any words.
The ones who only dream at night will never experience the satisfaction of living their dream with eyes wide open. We did though. We really did.
Thank you and Godspeed.