When Caleb agreed to participate in Project 104 I asked him what place or setting he liked to be in during times of thought and reflection. That lead to us driving out to the hills of Tennessee before the sun was up. We went to a small but beautiful state park just outside of Nashville and made our way up to a look-out point before the sun peaked through.
The fog was dense. From the high point that we stood it seemed to simply be a sheet of gray that covered anything that wasn’t in your immediate line of sight.
I brought some coffee along and we sat and chatted for a while. I’m proud to call Caleb a friend and I always walk away from our conversations with something to think about and seeing a bit more love and hope in the world. Today was no different and even magnified by the calm of the morning. Every sound and sensation is a wonderful extravagance that early. A stillness that no other time of the day can give to you. The exact point of wake and sleep for all life.
We sipped the coffee, let our legs hang from the edge of the cliff and took in the morning air. I couldn’t imagine a better place to ask these questions and I’m excited to share Caleb’s thoughtful answers!
What gets you out of bed everyday?
Shit like this! [Referring to our early morning and lookout sunrise] Haha!
Um. To be frank, I think just guilt or fear. The idea that if I stay in bed any longer... "will I miss the opportunity to create something that matters?" "What could I be making right now that I’m not?" I think it’s really as simple as that.
(followup question) Do you feel that you meet that expectation of yourself?
I think the way that we perceive dreams [aspirations] within our culture is a bit dramatic. I think it’s one of those things that comes from movies. Ha… “Shoot for the moooon!” haha “If you miss… maybe you’ll land on a star.” I actually don’t know what that saying is.
I think that it’s good to aim really high. Maybe you didn’t meet that goal for the day but maybe you did just within your means as a human being with however many hours of the day that you’re just awake. I think maybe being unrealistic is key. In that sense it can be good to not meet your goals.
To date, what is the greatest lesson you’ve learned?
Well, I can think of a couple. This is something that hurts me a little bit from time to time… I just wish that I’d learned a lot earlier to not judge people. Especially the people close to me. I think that’s why it hurts so much when I’m judged. What hurts me is not the judgment on myself, but the fact that they haven’t learned that lesson that I had to. I wish I hadn’t made that mistake at all and to see anyone make it presently… it hurts. I wanna yell! “You don’t have to do this!” “Stop right now!” Ya know? “You can come out on top.”
To some degree its going to be hypocritical. It’s part of being a human. There’s such thing as good judgment, but you know exactly what I’m talking about.
What is love?
In a recent song we put out, I wrote a line in Cloud Cover… “Love becomes because we invent it.” Which is… I think we have this really visceral… real love as a human that I think comes from some necessary place… like somewhere deep down it’s a survivalist thing. Loving something and someone gives you reason to live. Then we twist that into so many different things based on our own personal truths, but I think deep down at it’s core that love is just a really simple visceral need and tendency.
(followup question) How has coming to that belief affected your life?
It’s made things a lot easier. I don’t have to listen to anyone’s opinion of what love is. I realize that it’s different to all of us but there is also… in everybody… there is an element that is the same. It’s just something in our brain that we need to give and receive and that looks different to everybody. Removing all social construct within love, I think has been healthy and liberating.
Listen to Caleb's latest album