And I Feel Fine: Recollection of 2020 and Beyond 1.1

I was musing with fellow Joup associates Chester Whelks and Kitty in Manchester UK about six weeks ago wondering about the streets of Withington about 2 miles south of city center. They told me about the burrow and its charm and pitfalls. We ate and drank at a couple of different pubs. We talked about life…and music…and art…and hopes…and aspirations. We also discussed about how I’ve lost the will to write. I told them of how it seemed there were so many people writing on the internet now, recording podcasts or producing video content that it was just overkill and disheartening. Then they, as good mates do, advised me. Kitty offered that I should just start writing and not worry what comes out. Just do it as an exercise and continue to see what happens; you could find a very strong passion again.
Chester also advised me in the form of a quote from Nick Cave which is quite long so I’ll break it down into 3 parts.


“The creative act is an act of war – but as much as this inner critic is your adversary, it is also fundamental to the creative process. It is what anyone worth their salt is doing battle with all the time – we are in a perpetual dogfight with the lesser version of ourselves. To lose the battle is to become the embodiment of the homunculus itself. Defeated, we do nothing but sit in perpetual judgment of the world, idly watching, as it goes down in flames. As vicious as this fight with our own selves may be, it is this very conflict that puts the blood in the art, the tears too, and carves the battle scars deep into the work itself.“

I battle with myself everyday. I battle with self worth as a person, as an artist and even as a teacher which I have done for years and been commended for multiple times. It’s absurd.
“Why am I so fucking important, what value do I have anyway?”

Some people have no idea about it, maybe even most people. I guess this goes even further though in the sense of that the world perhaps IS going down in flames. But maybe I’m just an alarmist?
So this is the first step in recognizing these attributes again and just continuing on. This is what defines me. This is what defines us as we continue on.


The world, for all its failings, is an extraordinary experiment in rampant human imagination. At its best, it exists because there were people who had the courage to follow through on an idea – who resisted the inner voice that said, “You are worthless. Why bother?”

Exactly. And maybe this Covid-19 pandemic is the reset button well all need, especially in the western world. It’s not going to be easy. As a matter of fact it is going to be more grim then even the original assements had calculated. But ultimately it’s going to pass and perhaps JUST perhaps we can learn again the value of each other and in ourselves. That’s the optimist showing his face again. And why not?

I can quote a number of articles online but this one seems to work the best:

“‘The study found people who view their illness as more serious and symptomatic, and have strong negative emotions about it, were more likely to adopt avoidance or go into denial to cope. Those people are also more likely to experience depression and anxiety, and they are less likely to get better.’”
From MyVMC

There are a number of studies as I mentioned just search it. And not “fake news” studies as some people have coined in the past 3 years of disinformation. Legitimate scientific study which should NEVER be discredited, especially backed by multiple sources of study.

Of course there is this thought as well:

“Viewing anxiety as sometimes helpful and protective allows people to make good use of it. For example, Damour said she often tells the teenagers she works with in her practice to pay attention if they start to feel anxious at a party because their nerves may be alerting them to a problem.“
From Science Daily

That anxiety can be used to be proactive in our diligence in suppressing the spread of this disease and ultimately improve our overall heath both mentally and physically…well for me as least. However I think Nick Cave’s advice is good for anyone actually.


”I’ve said it before. Beautiful ideas abound. These ideas swim around us, ideas that can be of immense utility to world. Some ideas have our singular names inscribed upon them and it is our responsibility to reach beyond our lesser selves to the brightest version of what we can be and breathe life into these ideas. This act of reaching is almost always accompanied by the wretched homunculus and its dreary anthem of personal incompetence, but it is our sacred duty, to turn around and kick this little fucker in the balls. The fight with the dark force inside us is the forge in which true art is formed.”

Enough said. Thanks Chester and Kitty…more then I can even express.

Next, I’ll write a bit more about my health and condition, what my risks are and the status of everything as its changing…rapidly.

Joe Grez

Joe Grez

Joe Grzesik (JGrez) is still an artist developer trying to keep up with new technologies. Photography still has been one of his strongest passions. However, now his main focus has led him back to music where he teaches guitar, piano, saxophone and percussion privately. Music education can never be short changed.

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