Ben Jarvis of The Wild Feathers: Notes from the Road Entry 4

Day 11: Be Not Afraid
Charleston SC

My girlfriend of over 4 years ended our relationship last night. It's all so fresh, so it's still very hard to believe. It will sink in and will seem impossible to get through. But it will not be impossible. It's just another challenge in the journey of life. Or the crucible of life and love. And that's how I've got to face it.

It was not me being on the road that caused it to end. But being on the road so much this year put a magnifying glass up to all our feelings. Good and bad. She insists that it would have happened even if I was still home, and in which case there would still be something not right between us, within us.

The first time I saw her, I loved her. Don't call it love at first sight, because that's something you see in movies and read in magazines. This, however, was real life. In the beginning (which could have lasted anywhere from a few weeks to a few years, I may not ever know) I loved with a certain kind of edge that I do not know if there is a word for but I want to call it a gallant and unbridled fury. She was just so good to be true, I was constantly prepared to face the fact that at any moment she could leave and I would just have to be thankful for our love and for the moments I had loving her and being loved by her. I loved without fear nor ever saw fear's shadow. Which is how I feel you should love someone. Love everyone. As if they may be gone tomorrow and that is okay because at least the love happened when it could and it was more real than the actual reality in which it was exchanged.

Over time that love changed. The fury softened. Or rather hardened, like flowing incendiary lava crystalizes into igneous rock. An even deeper love where I would have done anything within or not within my power for her. We created a life together. Moved in. Got dogs. Took care of each other. Became family. Which is one of the greatest and most beautiful things of which I have ever been a part. Yet somewhere along the way I became afraid to lose her. Because I was. I am. And that's not good. You should never be afraid to lose a love. No point in it. You will lose everyone you love, be it in life or death. But that love you shared will last forever, somewhere. So be not afraid.

Unbridle your heart and let your love run wild. Without a direction. Or a fear. Now here I am in a hotel room in beautiful Charleston, SC, waiting for my laundry to finish. With a broken heart. But it's still quite a heart to have, which is something not everyone can say, because it has been unbridled. And if she ever reads this: fuck you, you worthless bitch. Just kidding. I love you.


Day 12

Playing at the Music Farm in Charleston last night was a blast. Great venue, great people working there. It was a great show, I feel. It was very indicative of how I think a lot of our shows are going. The crowd starts of thin and cold and maybe even indifferent. But we continue fighting the uphill battle and playing our asses off, so that by the end of the show the crowd has moved up front and gotten rowdy. And then they know who The Wild Feathers are.

I had two good friends from high school. Actually, both of them were huge hometown crushes of mine! I hadn't seen either one of them in a while, and don't keep in contact with them, so it was absolutely great reconnecting.

This morning, I went on a breakfast and quick sightseeing excursion with my friend. She took me across the river from Charleston to the town of Mount Pleasant (which is only a couple of minutes away), where she lives. Mount Pleasant is a tiny southern coastal town. Town might not be the right word, since it's so small. It felt like stepping back in time. I remarked jokingly, yet truthfully, that simpler times had not forgotten Mount Pleasant. And any kind of landscape that includes Palmetto trees, Spanish mosh, and Confederate Jasmine will win me over in a heartbeat.

Then we went for a walk to what she referred to as “The Bridge to Nowhere.” It's actually the Pitt Street bridge, a bridge that was once a vehicle bridge connecting Mount Pleasant to Sullivan Island, but was dismantled and half of the bridge was converted into a wooden plank walkway. However, the walkway stops at a dead end out in the Intracoastal Waterway and the remains of the old bridge continue onward until they are literally crumbling away further out. Quite a sight.

It was very powerful out there. The place hummed with an energy that was ancient and peaceful. Perhaps it was being right there where the river opens up into the mighty ocean, and the tides moving underneath with and by that self-assured arithmetic that could only be designed by nature, and maybe or maybe not understood by us. And being there with a special person. The experience was relieving and energizing.

Besides from gaining some sort of spiritual and life perspective out there it was really just nice to spend a few hours outside of the normal everyday routine of van, gas stations, music venue, hotel. I am very thankful my friend got me out for a bit.


Day 13
Jacksonville Beach FL to Atlanta GA

Jacksonville Beach, I'm speculating, is part of what they call the “Redneck Rivera.” If it not, well, it should be. It was nice, however, to eat some good seafood right on the beach in between sound check and our show. And to get in an hour of sunny beach time today. Not the most desirable of beaches, but if there's a beach there you should probably go get on it. So what's my beef with Jacksonville Beach?

A violent and mindless brawl broke out in FreeBird Live (the venue we played, and that name should be indicator enough). During our set, there was a very weird, tense vibe in the air. As I was making my way out to the crowd after our show to mingle, a couple bro dudes started exchanging blows. Didn't really seem like a big deal, a couple folks were trying to break it, including someone's girlfriend. And someone popped her in the face.

Absolute pandemonium broke loose. All bros took off their shirts. By the looks of it, there were more people in the club fighting than not fighting. Not enough security. They'd throw someone out, they'd run right back in. Somehow the melee finally rumbled out into the streets and there it died down to bros and hoes shouting the most ridiculous and idiotic shit. Car engines revved and tires squealed down Atlantic Boulevard.

Police showed up handcuffs a'blazing. Move along. Nothing to see here. I haven't seen many fights in my life. So when it was just 2 drunk fucks swinging at each other, I was enjoying it. Hahaha look at these dumb pieces of shit. But when the mob mentality infected everyone, it was sad and disgusting. I just don't understand how people can behave like that. And for what it's worth, once the riff raff was expunged, there was a good vibe in the place, everyone I met was friendly, and Bingham put on a hell of a show.

Drove to Atlanta today so we can catch a flight to Philadelphia tomorrow night. Philly - cue the Rocky theme song!


If you missed entries #1, #2, or #3, be sure to check them out now! And try and catch The Wild Feathers while they are on the road - you won't be sorry!

Posted May 30, 2013 10:37:22 am

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