I do music.

Not, “I am a musician.” There is devastating absoluteness in the words “I am”; a potential death sentence to identity.

I do music. Or, more accurately, I do music for now.

A friend of mine, who shares my church affiliation, once expressed to me the sentiment that “composer” is core to his identity and will be so through the long eternities of his existence after he departs this life. While I thought it a beautiful sentiment, fitting for a beautiful friend, it’s a leap of identity I flinch at.

As to what I am (and this is foundational for the essays that follow), I was taught in devotional song from my infancy: “I am a child of God.” I still believe it. How many thousands of times have I sung that phrase?

I flinch a bit in writing that last paragraph. The familiarity (to me at least) of the line “I am a child of God” renders it a tad trite, too familiar to do justice to my sentiments. How to do them justice?

There are other “I am” statements I could make. I am a family man, a husband, a father. I am an imaginer, a creator. I am a learner and a teacher.

Those statements ring true. Never, as long as I exist, will they cease to be true.

But, for now, in addition to what I am, I do music.

1 thought on “Identity”

  1. Re: identity vs. deeds, a favorite Joseph Smith moment:
    William Decatur Kartchner joined the church and went to Nauvoo in 1843. He writes, “I went straight to the Prophet’s house, had an interview which was very agreeable and consoling. I said, ‘Are you a prophet?’ He said, ‘I sometimes prophesy.”

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