How it Must Be to Be Famous: A Note to k.d. lang

Dear k.d.,

Because of the influence you have had on me, I started a non-profit. It is something that, at some level, I think, I wanted to always do. But since money and business are not things I am immediately interested in, I didn’t know exactly how. But, overall, it is a good fit for me. All my teaching talents and ideals seem to come together well in this venue.

What I have found really difficult is the barrage of  criticisms and cynics who have come out simply (in my perception) to be mean. It’s to the point (at this moment at least), where I do not even want to look at emails from our website. (Pretty thankful for Impermanence right now,  LOL). I remember Tami Simon asking you about how you deal with criticism. You sputtered a bit as a range of emotions filled your presence, but then said exasperatedly “Look, people criticize the weather, OK?” And you are so right. I am experiencing first had what it is like to “put yourself out there”; to try and “do” something”.  The world is not the easiest place to navigate, and no matter what one’s original “idea” is, somehow, transliterating it into 3 dimensions is no easy task. Just look at how hard people have worked to transliterate Tibetan into Roman letters with the Wylie method. And that is two dimensions to two dimensions. I am trying to get something with zero dimensions into a three dimensional world.

I write to you, and not other business people, because I feel we share a similar world view. And while I have lived a life totally cut off from Hollywood or the “Music Industry” (what a a term for art!), and fame is something I have no clue about, in just these past few months I am about “done”. Done with those telling me that my non-profit is too different, that no one will care, that it does not follow what most people expect, and on and on.  Luckily, for me, I am pretty used to not being “included”, to always being seen as “a bit off”, “crazy” or an “odd duck”. But it still is tough to deal with nonetheless.

I get that we are always alone; that the idea of connection is often misunderstood. We (sentient beings) are connected as total and complete individuals, not as shared souls. But for where I am at now, I find it more than difficult to even “ignore” all the negatoids out there. My point, I guess, is that I have a better understanding of what it must be like to create art that cannot really be categorized.

So even more, your 20+ years of coping with this is underscored and I think, under-appreciated.

Yours in originality,


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