Do you feel me?
...Tell me, am I getting thru to you?
I wanna know.
Are you with me? Are you listening?
Baby is my message getting through?
"Do You Feel Me?"
When Anthony Hamilton sings, “Do you feel me?” we hear a song to the person he loves. After all, why would a love song be directed anywhere else? True, there are songs written to “the beloved,” joyful hymns to God and to Source, songs of longing to know the Creator: “Am I in this on my own?” And this could be one those songs, certainly, but it isn’t for me. I am an artist. The art I practice is writing. This is an art I have practiced since I was ten, when numbers failed me and words took flight, and Do You Feel Me is a song to every dream ever held in my writer’s heart, a love song. If playing music is your art, then you know: You aren’t truly a musician until someone hears you play, and the words you write aren’t a song until someone sings it.
Do you feel me?
Tonight this song is playing on my station at BLIP.fm, a social media site for music lovers and DJs, and tonight this song is especially poignant. Now hang with me, cuz this is road’s gonna get a little twisty, but it’s worth the ride. I have "Do You Feel Me" because another Blip DJ sent it to me -- that’s the only reason I’ve even heard it -- and I’m on Blip because I promised myself I would learn social media, what it is, what it does, why people use it, love it, hate it, sink their time into it. I saw social media as a huge time suck. Period. But I decided to learn about it because this time last year I was ready for a website but then realized I had no earthly idea why anyone would go to a website, let alone stay at mine to read my work. Up until that moment, my Mac had been just a really cool typewriter. I had never surfed. I had no interest in the Internet except as a way to receive e-mail, and frankly, I wasn’t that keen on e-mail either.
So, I turned to my friends for direction and, much to their surprise, I took advice, tried every site they raved about, ignored anyone who didn’t understand, tore my hair out - often - blazed my own cyber trails, and persevered beyond all expectations. Fast forward to last fall when even media savvy peeps are calling me the social media maven (not true, by the way), which is also the time I began working with a shaman. I told you this would get strange. It’s too big a side-trip to tell you about the shaman or why I go to him, so just let me say that I got there the way I get everywhere that’s of any importance. I was led. I’m like Dorothy; early on, I landed somewhere totally unexpected and I’ve been on my way to the wizard ever since.
Before I got on the cyber yellow brick road last year, I replaced my electronics. Why? Not because I thought it was a good idea, though it was, but because everything stopped working. All At Once. Fuck me, right? Writer; no money. (Thank you Nordstrom for the Visa card.) The salient point is that everything stopped working right at the juncture when I needed better equipment to do things like surf the net on multiple windows, play music with videos, draft and email documents all at the same time; plus texting nonstop while sending and receiving updates on my cell from Twitter and FaceBook; listening to music on USB drives and MP3s.... in other words, the whole modern world that I had barely deigned to visit. I didn’t know this is what I’d be doing. I just knew that I needed a car stereo to drive, a phone to communicate, and a computer to write.
I also knew this: my energetics effect my electronics. Just think of this as the much less flashy, more personal version of blowing out the circuits of every television, radio, or computer you pass, or turning them on, depending on your mood. This was true before I began work with a shaman. It’s even more true now. Luckily, I’m in training. If my computer acts up or my browser crashes, I know the source of the problem is me. I know what to do. I know when a form of media stops working, it’s time for me to restructure my approach or move on. Same with people. Now this all sounds really cool, doesn’t it? It’s not. I decide to go in one direction, the Wicked Witch of the West blows me in another. I get comfy with one form of social media, over night it becomes a time sucking addiction (think opium poppies). Worse: I’ve fallen asleep at the wheel when it comes to keeping the focus on writing. After all, that’s why I’m here: the website.
Come the New Year, I promised myself a blog, which is the next step toward creating a writerly presence on the web. I knew that the greater amount of my time was spent in response to Blip DJs and I was hoping for some way of reducing this to a manageable size. I began blogging and then.... I began getting glitches with Blip. Small annoyances at first, then larger problems, but I persevered because BLIP.fm is where I enjoy myself the most. Everyone speaks music there, a language almost no one speak in my RL. Friendships have blossomed on Blip and extended into my writing life. I had joked to RL friends (none of whom get beyond Pandora) that Blip was my crack. Poor choice of words. Blip works for me now just enough to let me post songs, sometimes, but rarely enough to listen to them.
My whole damn life I have sung a private song to the powers that be: Are you with me? Are you listening? Is my message getting through? I would sell my last possession if it meant my work was read and readers enjoyed it, which has taken on new meaning since my funding was cut. Among other things, I sold the bulk of my CDs, making Blip and Blip friendships more important than ever. Dear Universe, everything I do is set to music, even my writing, carrying as it does the cadence of my life.
Are you feeling me?