Wow, what a year it’s been so far.
Isn’t it strange when you suddenly become aware that you’re in the middle of a defining moment in history? Someday soon we’ll probably refer to everything as either “pre-covid” or “post-covid” (Pre-Co and Po-Co? just riffing here). Weird, right? Even now I feel like we’re still standing in the middle of a murky bubble, struggling to see what lies beyond. Hopefully it involves lots of touching and hugging and live music.
Many of my friends and family have really struggled during this pandemic; some lost their livelihoods overnight, others have had to spend weeks cooped up alone in very dark headspaces. My industry has been one of the hardest hit and it’s been heart-breaking and brutal for so many.
Yet at the same time, there have been inspiring things going on as well. I think it’s actually given me more faith in humanity than any other time in history. It’s also made me realise how disconnected we have been from each other. I’ve seen strangers reaching out to each other to see if they’re okay. Work colleagues checking in on each other’s mental health for the first time ever and really caring about the answer. Streets and communities creating platforms where they can connect and share stories and offer support. A conversation about the things that really matter. There’s a feeling of solidarity with the entire globe that has never been possible before. Obviously we would rather it be for a different reason and not everyone has covered themselves in glory but it still blows my mind!
Of course, I know I’ve been lucky during all this compared to so many. My kids have been (quite literally!) climbing the walls and driving me bonkers like every other family in lock-down and I’ve struggled with the same roller-coaster emotions as any human would, but work-wise I was lucky to finish all my summer touring just before this happened, and quite frankly, we have the means to get through it. We have a backyard and the kids have been able to dig in the dirt and climb trees. I’ve spent many moments feeling very grateful (many moments fantasising about being single and childless too, but we don’t have to go there!) and it was during one of those particularly happy moments that I sat down and wrote a new song called “When The Machine Starts” which I’m releasing now.
I know this track won’t hit home for a lot of people and that’s OK. I wrote it during Victorian Lock-down 1.0 at a time when I was feeling particularly lucky to be able to spend so much time with the kids while they’re still so young. To be able to look at my calendar and see NOTHING on it, forcing me to be completely in the moment because suddenly the future didn’t exist.
Surprisingly, that felt like a gift. I realised I’d been running an invisible race, a rabid dog chasing a phantom rabbit. But to what end? So to be given this chance to stop… well, I really didn’t want to forget it. So this song came out of that moment. It’s a post-it note to my future self: “don’t forget the good things you’ve learnt!”.
Anyway … sending heaps and heaps of love to you all.
Wherever you are.
Whatever you’re going through.
Hang in there, because the end is in sight.
And I hope some of you get something out of this song, even if it’s just the chance to consider the silver linings in this whole shitty experience. Whatever the case, it’s got to be helpful to ask ourselves: “what do I want to take from all this, and what do I want to leave behind”? It’d be great if we could find something positive to take with us from such a dark moment … when the machine starts.