What’s in a name? A lot in this case. I like to think of the name “Far Shores” as less of a name and more of a blue print for where this band is going. A “north star” of sorts. To explain it, and what it means to me, I first have to explain how I lost my confidence.
A few years ago I was in an indie rock and roll band that did pretty well regionally, had a few label offers, and were about to start touring full time. After investing countless hours and endless energy into the project, we broke up. This band was the only thing of public acclaim I had been a part of so I naturally tied my identity, and subsequently my potential for success, to it. So when it ended, I was devastated to say the least. I spiraled down into a really negative state of mind and I completely lost all of my creative confidence.
Being forced out of your identity can do wonders for your own personal growth. It took around 4 years, a move to a different state, and a lot of heavy conversations, but once I realized that I was free of feeling like my success was tethered to my old band, it was like a dam breaking free in my mind. I could re-invent myself. I could do whatever I wanted to do! I was free from the cage of self doubt and insecurity I had put around myself. I could create again.
Over the next 2 years I worked on this music and used the new found freedom as fuel to write. I built up a collection of 30 or so demos and decided that I was going to formalize the project and write an EP. The result is the 5 song, Electric Heart EP.
Now how does all of this tie into the name?
The title of the project comes from the book “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years” by Donald Miller. Here’s the excerpt it comes from:
“It’s like this when you live a story. The first part happens fast. You throw yourself into the narrative and you’re caught in the water, the shore is pushing back behind you and the trees are getting smaller. The other shore is inches away and you can feel the resolution coming, the feeling of getting out of you’re boat and walking the distant shore, looking back to see where you came from. The first part of a story happens fast, and you think the thing is going to be over soon. But it isn’t going to be over soon. The reward you get from a story is always less than you thought it would be, and the work is harder than you imagined. It’s as though the thing is teaching you the story is not about the ending but about the story itself, about your character getting molded in the hard work of the middle. The shore behind you stops getting smaller, and you paddle and wonder why the same strokes used to move you but they don’t anymore…The paddling doesn’t move the boat anymore and the far shore doesn’t get closer no matter how hard you work. The shore you left is just as far and there is no going back, there is only the decision to paddle in place or stop, slide out of the hatch and sink into the sea. Or, continue onward, to the far shore.”
I am a character in a story. My life is a narrative. I realized that my character arc involved embracing the paddling; embracing the struggle. Its not about arriving at the far shore so much as it is the journey to get there. Releasing this first EP is part of arriving on a Far Shore that I set out on a year and a half ago, but in the last 5 years that lead up to this, all the heartache and change and struggle and failure have shaped me into a character I’m proud to be.
As creatives, and just simply as people, continuing to paddle towards the far shore is an active decision we have to make constantly. Making a change is enticing at the start but it demands honesty and honesty is terrifying. Putting yourself out there is terrifying. Being open with your shortcomings is terrifying. We have to choose to keep paddling and embrace that we are growing simply through the act.
Far Shores the band is a manifestation of this sentiment.
What is your “far shore”? Have you stopped paddling? Can you paddle harder? The more we expose the things that keep us from paddling and get past them, the greater help we can be to others, and a greater life of purpose we will lead. We have to push past how hard it is to try for something new and continue to challenge our selves.
So, when you hear the name, Far Shores, let it remind you of all you’ve had to go through to get to where you are and let it inspire you to keep paddling.
-Nate // FS